You can think of spider veins as smaller versions of varicose veins. The treatment and management options spider veins are similar too with a topical cream, movement and weight management all contributing to reducing symptoms.
Spider veins are normally closer to the skin’s surface and they can appear to be red or blue jagged lines that resemble a spider web, hence the name. They are usually located on the legs, much like varicose veins, however, they can be found on the face as well. What causes them is also similar to larger swollen veins; the build-up of blood at the valves, but they can also be caused by injury, overexposure to the sun and hormonal fluctuations.
The reason that they mostly appear in our legs is due to the pressure imposed on them. The veins are pumping blood against gravity directly up the leg and towards the heart. That is a tough job and if there are any weaknesses in the tiny valves that pump the blood, then the blood beings to pool and the subsequent pressure causes the veins to swell up. This is where massaging a topical cream in an upward direction can be helpful as you are gently encouraging better circulation.
So what causes them you ask? Some things you can avoid and others you can’t unfortunately:
Things you cannot necessarily control include
- Ageing – as we get older, those tiny valves in our veins may work less efficiently and as such blood beings to pool more and more and pile pressure onto our veins.
- Genetics – You can be born with inherently weak valves and as such be more susceptible to varicose and spider veins.
- Hormonal fluctuations – During years of hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause it is possible to develop venous difficulties.
- Extra weight during Pregnancy – Another unavoidable cause is pregnancy. Naturally women gain weight when carrying a child and a large amount of excess blood is produced, and of course, the extra weight of the child and growing uterus adds pressure on the body and legs in particular.
Things you have more control over
- Body weight: Pregnancy aside, managing your own body weight can make a big difference. The equation is simple, more weight equals more weight on your legs, which we have already established as a major cause.
- Movement: Standing and sitting for excessive periods of time put more pressure on your legs and make the veins work overtime to keep blood circulating. Try to find time every day to elevate your legs to help with circulation.
- Sun overexposure: Often, excess exposure to the sun is deemed as the cause for the formation of spider veins on the nose and face. If you are of a fair complexion then you are more at risk.