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Spider Veins on Legs, Causes and Treatments

Updated on March 22, 2011

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins on your legs may make you fear the summer, especially if you may need to wear a bathing suit. Spider veins are an enlarged grouping of veins, similar to varicose veins but smaller, either red or purple in color, that appear just beneath the skins surface. Most commonly they are found on the legs, thighs, and buttocks. Their shape resembles the appearance of a spiders web giving them their name.

Spider veins are typically safe, for the most part they are just a cosmetic issue. However, some people report pain associated with these veins. Around a third of all women are inflicted with them but it is not that uncommon for men either.In all, over half of the population has some issue with unsightly veins.

Spider Vein Causes

Some causes of spider veins include over-exposure to the sun, hormonal change, and injury. These veins appear due to a back up blood in your system. Veins bring blood back to your heart from within your body. When a back up occurs, due to damage or insufficiency, blood collects in your veins enlarging them and making them more visible.

Several risk factors make a person more likely to be afflicted with spider veins. Aging, obesity, pregnancy, hormonal changes, and inactivity can all contribute to a person developing spider veins. Having lighter skin also increases the visibility of your veins along with make your skin more prone to injury.

Spider Vein Treatment

If you currently afflicted with spider veins on your legs, there are treatments and lifestye changes you can make to improve the appearance of your legs.

  • Laser therapy-A very popular form of treatment that involves directing focused light at the patients varicose veins. They are most effective on small veins and laser treatment is a permanent solution. Bruising may occur it can be a costly option for some.
  • Sclerotherapy-This procedure involves using needles to inject a liquid, sclerosant, which collapses the affected veins hding them from view. A burning or cramping sensation may be experienced and it can take many sessions to treat larger areas affected by spider veins.
  • Massage Therapy-Massage can greatly improve a person circulation which also makes it a great way to reduce spider veins. For the best results it is a advisable to seek the help of a licensed massage therapist.
  • Compression Socks-There are specially designed compression socks to reduce the effects of spider veins. These garments are worn both to massage the affected areas and to push blood away from the veins.
  • Regualr Exercise-Exercise is a great way to increase ones circulation. Improving your hearts circulation will not only reduce your spider veins, it will also make you healthier in general. Apart from exercise, just being active and using your legs muscles will help you reduce the appearance of spider veins on your legs.


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    • profile image

      Sanne 3 years ago

      It's a plusaere to find someone who can think so clearly

    • ladyeagle_cdc profile image

      ladyeagle_cdc 6 years ago from San Juan City, Philippines

      i preferred Sclerotherapy...thanks for sharing!

    • youmeget profile image

      youmeget 6 years ago

      Useful tips on treatment. I have a short one on my thighs... it can be embarrassing when my friends see it the first time and scream.

      Good work.