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Can You Prevent Spider Veins?

Posted on: September 27th, 2021 by Dr. Christopher Crosby

It’s summertime, and you would love to appear bare-legged in public. However, doing so would reveal the unattractive spider veins on your legs. The dermatologists at Grossmont Dermatology in La Mesa explain how to prevent spider veins, as well as ways to eradicate them. Spider veins do not go away on their own.

What are Spider Veins?

Red, blue or purple spider veins look like skinny webs beneath the skin’s surface. They usually show up on the legs and thighs, although they can appear on the face and other areas, too.

Spider veins do not hurt. They seldom indicate a serious medical condition. But because of the way they look, they can make some people feel self-conscious.

Spider Vein Causes

Exactly what causes spider veins to appear is unclear. They are more common in older individuals. A general weakening of the vein valves accompanies aging. These valves control blood flow, so the weakening allows more pooling of blood in the veins. Spider veins are a minor problem compared to larger varicose veins. 

If your parents and other close relatives have spider veins, the odds that you will have them increase significantly. Besides heredity, causes of spider veins include:

  • Being on your feet much of the time
  • Birth control and other hormonal therapies
  • Blood clots and other valve-damaging conditions
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking

Women are more likely to develop spider veins than men, and part of that is due to hormonal fluctuations. Calf muscles may weaken with aging, and that also contributes to spider vein formation.

Spider Vein Prevention

Speak with your doctor if you are concerned about birth control or other hormonal therapies and spider veins. Along with consuming a healthy diet and exercising to lose weight, and not spending too much time on your feet, the wearing of compression stockings may prevent spider veins.

When sitting, do not cross your legs. Avoid wearing tight clothing, including underwear. Additional pressure encourages spider vein formation.

Spider Vein Treatment

Sclerotherapy is a long-standing non-surgical treatment for problematic spider and varicose veins. Depending on the severity and extent of leg veins, and on the patient’s level of compliance with recommended home care, sclerotherapy may produce the desired result in a few treatments. According to research, between 50 and 80 percent of treated veins may fade away with each sclerotherapy session. Results are not instantaneous. It can take a few weeks for the spider vein to shrink and resolve . Several treatments may be necessary to attain desired results.

Contact Us

If you are dealing with unsightly spider veins and would like to know how sclerotherapy can help, Grossmont Dermatology invites you to schedule an informational consultation. Please contact our La Mesa office today to request an appointment.

Coastal Skin & Eye Institute/Grossmont Dermatology