Spider veins are very common and affect 50 to 55% of women and 40 to 45% of men. In fact, varicose veins affect more than 50% of men and women over the age of 50. But they can show up in women as early as their teen years. While they’re generally painless and harmless, they can be embarrassing for some and hard to hide.
What Causes Spider Veins?
- Heredity: A family history of varicose and spider veins increases the likelihood that they will develop.
- Medical Conditions: Weak or poorly functioning veins are likelier to become spider or varicose veins.
- Age: With increasing age, veins typically don’t function as well.
- Hormonal Changes: Many women develop spider veins during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the increase of blood volume is particularly likely to cause spider or varicose veins.
- Weight: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of varicose veins.
- Being Sedentary: Sitting or standing in the same position for prolonged periods could put pressure on veins to work harder.
- Sun Exposure: Too much UV exposure could increase the risk of facial spider veins for fair-skinned people.
How To Treat Spider Veins
Vascular Laser: This procedure generally works best for spider veins. The dermatologist uses a laser to target the vein, exposing it to brief but intense heat which destroys the vein and allows the tissue to be reabsorbed into the body. Treatment takes about 20 minutes each session, and patients should plan for one to three sessions for the best result. Afterward, patients can return to their daily activities, avoiding exercise for 24 hours after treatment
Sclerotherapy: The dermatologist uses a fine-tipped needle to inject a sclerosing solution — usually liquid, but sometimes foam — into the affected vein. The solution causes the vein to collapse and shrink. This takes about 20 minutes in the office and patients can return to their daily routines immediately. They should wear compression stockings afterward and avoid exposure to sunlight for several weeks to ensure the best results.