You might notice a few at first, then more. With the appearance of their first spider or varicose veins, patients wonder why these problem vessels developed. In fact, at least half of American women and as many as 45 percent of men experience a vascular problem at some point, Womenshealth.gov reports. Half of people at least 50 suffer from varicose veins. If you have problem veins, you might be wondering if it’s time to visit your local vein clinic.
MedlinePlus describes varicose veins as swollen veins just under the skin. They have a gnarled, ropelike appearance and usually look blue or purple. Varicose vessels most often develop in the legs, though they might appear elsewhere. They arise when veins fill with too much blood, become dilated, and then enlarge.
Cosmetic issues are a concern for some patients. Others experience pain, blood clots, skin ulcers, or other disorders.
Spider veins take their name from their weblike appearance. Smaller than varicose veins, they sometimes appear in a clump. They’re usually blue or red and appear closer to the skin’s surface. They most often develop on the legs and the face.
Several things can cause vascular disease that results in problem veins. Since some vein disorders can lead to serious health issues, it’s important to get an evaluation from a physician who is highly qualified to treat vein disease.
Causes of Spider and Varicose Veins
Both varicose and spider veins occur because of defective or weak valves in your veins. Leg muscles squeeze to push up blood through veins toward the heart. Whenever valve flaps are damaged, blood falls backward and leaks back into the vein. When it pools, the problem is known as venous insufficiency. As the pool enlarges, it can enlarge vessels until they become varicose.
These are the most frequent causes of varicose veins:
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Being pregnant
- Being menopausal
- Chronic heart valve disorders that are often congenital
- Extended periods of standing
- Excess pressure on the middle of the body
- Being obese or overweight
Spider veins also link to valve problems. Hormonal changes, trauma or other injury, and sun exposure are additional factors.
Vein Treatment Options
Doctors most often eliminate problem veins with sclerotherapy or VeinGoh. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute describes sclerotherapy as a non-surgical outpatient injection procedure for which no pain medicine is necessary.
Patients interested in sclerotherapy can expect to be back to their normal activities the same day as their treatment. When symptoms become problems, the first step toward a solution is making an appointment for a consultation with a physician who specializes in treating spider and varicose veins.