spider veinsVenous insufficiency is a disease where malfunctioning one-way valves in the veins don’t close properly. This can cause blood to leak back into the vein instead of moving back towards the heart. It can also weaken vein walls.

When blood pools in damaged veins, they can become discolored, and twisted to resemble tree branches or spider webs. These are known as spider veins. Varicose veins are similar to spider veins, but they are usually larger, more blue or dark purple in color, and they can bulge.

Other symptoms of spider or varicose veins may include:

  • Cramps
  • Itchiness
  • Pain
  • Swelling

What Causes Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?

Spider veins and varicose veins can be an early indicator of venous insufficiency. They may also occur due to factors including:

  • Age
  • Family history of spider or varicose veins
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Overexposure to the sun
  • Excessive alcohol consumption over time
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • Smoking

Preventing Spider Veins From Developing

There are several things you can do at home to try and increase the blood flow in your legs to help avoid spider veins from developing, such as: elevating your legs, wearing compression stockings, exercising to strengthen your leg muscles, losing weight, or taking a break every 30 minutes to walk around if you must stand or sit for prolonged periods of time.

Treatment for Varicose and Spider Veins

Your podiatrist may use a treatment called Sclerotherapy—a safe, convenient, in-office procedure to fade away. A special solution is injected into the vein which irritates it, and causes it to scar and close up. Scarring will force blood from the damaged veins to reroute to healthier ones. Over a period of several weeks, the dried up vein will fade.

Call our office to learn more about Sclerotherapy and whether it may be effective to fade your spider veins.