What is the outlook for patients diagnosed with spider veins?

Written by: Top Doctors®
Edited by: Conor Lynch

What exactly are spider veins, and how are they caused? Read on to find out the answers to these questions below in one of our latest medical articles. 

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are delicate, visible blood vessels that have unusual patterns that can be seen beneath the surface of your skin. They mostly appear as tiny, branching lines in shades of red, blue, or purple.


Where do spider veins most typically form?

While they can form anywhere on your body, they most commonly form on our legs and sometimes our faces.


How do they form?

The formation of spider veins is caused by a mixture of weakened vein valves and damaged small blood vessels. When these tiny vessels lose their elasticity or suffer damage, they become visible as spider veins. The exact cause isn’t clear, but there are several associated risk factors, such as:


  • Family history
  • Hormonal changes
  • Sun exposure
  • Ageing
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity


When should they be treated?

Spider veins are usually harmless. However, treatment becomes necessary if you don’t like their appearance. Many people end out seeking treatment for aesthetic reasons. Rarely, spider veins cause burning, itching, or discomfort, especially in the legs. Treatment is necessary if patients report any of these symptoms.


What can happen if left untreated?

While spider veins themselves won’t harm you, ignoring them might lead to chronic venous insufficiency. This condition can then lead to leg swelling, skin changes, and even leg ulcers.


What is the outlook for patients diagnosed with spider veins?

Spider veins are generally harmless, so are normally not anything to worry about. The main treatment options are sclerotherapy (injecting a solution to close off the veins) and laser therapy.


Lifestyle changes such as like regular exercise, elevating your legs, and wearing compression stockings, can prevent new ones from forming.


If you’d like to consult an experienced consultant vascular surgeon today, you can do just that by clicking the link here.


By Topdoctors
Vascular surgery

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