Spider veins, commonly mistaken as varicose veins, are the result of venous insufficiency in which the veins are struggling to perform and have become blue, purple or red in hue and are visible just beneath the skin’s surface. These veins are smaller in appearance than varicose veins which are often raised and large and swollen with blood. Spider veins on the legs, ankles, and face are typically the most common and can be embarrassing for those who have them. There are a number of factors which contribute to the development of spider veins on ankles and legs including:
Women are much more susceptible to the development of spider veins than men are, with an increase in frequency as they age. It’s estimated that up to 60% of adults will develop spider veins or varicose veins of some degree at some point in their lives. Women who have had a mother or a grandmother develop spider veins are much more likely to develop these leg veins themselves.
Spider veins can cause not only embarrassment due to their appearance but they can also be quite uncomfortable for those who have them. Sensations such a burning in the legs, tingling, restlessness or fatigue in the legs or just an overall heaviness are common symptoms of those with spider veins on their legs. Swelling and a darkening of the skin can also become problems if the leg veins are not treated and some women may find that their discomfort is enhanced during pregnancy or their menstrual cycle.
Though there are some efforts patients can make to minimize the effects of spider veins on their own, such as increasing their physical activity, propping their legs up if they work long hours standing up, or wearing compression stockings, the most effective treatments for leg veins are usually those performed by an experienced vein specialist who can perform Sclerotherapy and spider vein removal on the affected areas to rid the patient of their spider veins long term. Patients struggling with spider veins on their legs, ankles, or face should make an appointment with the Skin and Vein Center for expert treatment of their venous disease. We treat varicose veins, and all other vascular diseases as well!