Spider veins are those small but noticeable blue, red, or purple veins that sit just beneath the surface of the skin, often on the legs and face. While not harmful, many people don’t like their appearance.
For this reason, board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, offers noninvasive laser treatments at Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics in Austin, Texas. Dr. Bushore uses Cutera Excel V™ Plus, which is an advanced laser technology that can target unsightly spider veins without damaging your skin.
In this blog, Dr. Bushore explains what spider veins are and five things that could increase your chances of developing them.
What to know about spider veins
Spider veins are a common cosmetic issue, and they can affect both women and men. However, the condition is more common in women, especially those over age 50.
The root cause of spider veins is poor circulation. When your veins are dysfunctional or damaged, blood can’t flow through the vessels efficiently. Weak valves in your veins can allow blood to flow backward and pool in one place, causing the enlargement of the vein.
This enlargement can lead to symptoms like:
- Skin rashes
- Blood clots
Excessive blood pooling can also lead to more noticeable enlargement in the vein, a condition known as varicose veins. Varicose veins generally form in the legs because blood in this area has to fight gravity to make its way back to your heart.
5 risk factors for spider veins
There are many factors that can contribute to your risk of developing spider veins. Here are five of them:
1. Lack of movement
Sitting or standing for long periods of time or not getting enough exercise can increase your risk for spider veins and other circulatory problems.
You should get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day and take frequent breaks to move around when you’re standing or sitting for an extended period of time. And, If you have a job that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time, wearing compression socks can help provide support to veins to keep them from increasing in size or number.
2. Weight challenges
If you’re overweight or obese, you may be unknowingly creating spider veins because of the excess pressure your weight puts on your veins, especially those in your legs.
With regular exercise and a healthy diet, you can achieve a healthy body weight and lower your risk for spider veins and many serious, long-term health complications.
If you’re a smoker, your risk for spider veins and other circulatory problems increases significantly. Smoking cigarettes causes narrowing in your blood vessels that makes it harder for blood to flow through.
In addition to lowering your risk for spider veins, quitting smoking can improve your health and quality of life. If you’re not able to quit on your own, we can help you find the resources you need to quit successfully.
4. Poor footwear choices
Women are already at a higher risk for spider veins than men, especially those who wear unsupportive shoes, such as high heels. The strain high heels put on your legs and feet can affect your blood circulation.
To minimize your risk for spider veins, try to wear flatter, well-fitting shoes more often than you wear heels.
A habit many of us have is crossing our legs when we sit down. Leg-crossing can put unnecessary pressure on the veins in your legs and lead to premature valve damage.
Be mindful of how you sit, especially when sitting for long periods of time. Instead of crossing your legs at the knees, try finding a more comfortable position by crossing your ankles.
If you have unwanted spider veins, board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, can give you a thorough evaluation and discuss a treatment plan to banish them. To learn more, call 512-459-4869 or book an appointment online with Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics today.