Learn to Identify Spider Veins

Learn to Identify Spider VeinsYou’ve probably seen a spider vein before. This type of vein disease got its name from the web-like series of lines they leave, causing discoloration to show through the skin. The lines are often red, blue or purple and are usually very small. The lines form a sort of web, sprawling in every direction.

More than half of all women develop spider veins and about 40 percent of men experience them, too. They are especially common with age, are highly genetic and are more common among those who struggle with excess weight.

Spotting a Spider Vein

The best way to prevent spider veins from getting worse is to spot them early and take preventative action. Spider veins are a form of venous disease. On their own they do not pose much of a health risk, but over time can increase your risk for blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Keep an eye out for spider veins on your legs. They most frequently develop on the calves or thigh, but can develop anywhere. They often start out subtly. It may take months or longer for you to realize the small faded blue lines are becoming more prominent.

Spider veins are often just as thin as a hair and unlike varicose veins–another form of venous disease with many similarities–they do not cause the skin to bulge at the site of discoloration. In some situations, this can make them challenging to spot at first, but over time the lines will often grow thicker and darker.

Who gets Spider Veins?

Women are more likely to develop spider veins than men, but they can affect just about anyone. Risk factors that increase your risk for the condition include:

  • Obesity
  • Family history
  • Career that keeps you sitting for extended periods of time
  • Frequent traveling

What to do about Spider Veins

When you notice spider veins, do your best to take action early on. Exercising more often, especially with cardiovascular activities can enhance blood circulation and reduce your risk of developing more unsightly veins. You can also wear compression stockings, which are shown to improve blood circulation.

Identify spider veins by the way they look. It may help to consult resources with example pictures so you can compare them to your skin. If you are experiencing spider veins, your doctor may use sclerotherapy or laser surgery to seal off the vein and prevent blood flow.

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