What Causes Spider Veins?

While generally harmless, spider veins are more of an aesthetic annoyance than a medical emergency. Fortunately, spider veins can be removed by cosmetic surgeons. But what causes spider veins, who is at risk, and what can you do to get rid of them?

Let’s take a closer look at what spider veins are and how Centre P.C. can help treat them.

What Causes Spider Veins?

Spider veins are caused by the dilation of small groups of blood vessels located close to the skin’s surface. Essentially, the valves in the vein stop working properly, blood struggles to flow in the right direction and begins to pool inside the vein.

Spider veins get their name because they appear as thin, reddish lines that resemble web-like clusters. They are found commonly on the face and legs. Women are more susceptible than men.

Who Is At Risk?

We don’t know exactly why spider veins develop, but some factors that can contribute to the condition might include:

  • Heredity
  • Pregnancy
  • Physical trauma or injury
  • Excess pressure
  • Sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • Aging
  • Sun damage
  • Hormonal birth control or hormonal treatments
  • Obesity
  • Previous blood clots or vein damage

The effects of hormone treatments and pregnancy may contribute to women being slightly more at risk for developing spider veins than men.

Are Spider Veins The Same as Varicose Veins?

Both spider veins and varicose veins are conditions that are a result of weakened or damaged valves in the veins. But it’s important to note their differences as the two are often confused.

While still considered a venous condition, spider veins are typically small, thin, web-like lines that are flat or slightly raised from the skin. They are often blue, red, or purple in color and generally painless for most people.

On the other hand, varicose veins are larger and may appear lumpy or twisted under the skin. They are typically darker in color, range in severity, and may even cause a variety of symptoms:

  • Pain, itching, or bleeding at the site of the varicose veins
  • Swelling of the legs or ankles
  • Aches or heaviness in the legs
  • Circulation concerns

Are There Treatment Options for Spider Veins?

Yes! The Centre P.C. offers cosmetic treatments for spider veins using a pulsed dye laser, a tool that has safely and effectively treated spider veins for over 15 years.

Using this treatment, a gentle yet intense burst of laser light is delivered to the skin and absorbed by the blood vessels. The vessels are heated and coagulated so the body can reabsorb them and heal the area naturally. And because this treatment is so gentle, it does not negatively affect the surrounding tissue.

If you’re considering spider vein treatment for your face or legs, call The Centre P.C. at (574) 621-3171 or contact us online to learn more about treatment options.

For more information on treating spider veins and other common cosmetic procedures, follow Centre. P.C. on Twitter or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

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Meet the Doctors
Dr. Downs
Dr. Downs

Ronald K. Downs, M.D., F.A.C.S. founded The Centre, P.C. in Elkhart, Indiana in 1992. He is an active member in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Downs is also a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, The American Medical Association, The Ohio Valley Plastic Surgery Society, The Rush Surgical Society, and The Indiana State Medical Association where he serves on the board of directors and has served as the president from 2003 to 2004.

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Dr. Viscardi
Dr. Viscardi

Patrick J. Viscardi, M.D. has been part of the surgical team at The Centre, P.C. since 1998. Dr. Viscardi graduated from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, as a summa cum laude. He received his Doctor of Medicine Degree from the University of Rochester in New York. Dr. Viscardi completed his internship and general surgery residency at the University of Louisville, where he served as chief resident from 1994 to 1995.

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