Women and Spider Veins: A Common Issue

Women and Spider Veins: A Common Issue More than half of the women in the United States suffer with either  spider veins or varicose veins. While spider veins may not be a serious medical condition, the appearance is often perceived as unsightly and may be a source of embarrassment.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are weak valves in veins that allow blood to flow backward and accumulate. This causes small red or blue lines to form under the skin, usually on the legs.

There are several factors that increase a woman’s risk of developing spider veins:

  • Wearing high heels
  • Standing or sitting for a prolonged period of time
  • Pregnancy
  • Tight clothing that impedes blood flow

One reason women are especially susceptible to spider veins is thanks to hormonal changes that are common with age. Changes such as menopause or pregnancy can increase the appearance of spider veins. Medicines that contain hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can also have an impact on such veins.

While spider veins are usually found on the legs, they can appear on the face of fair skinned people due to sun exposure. Although often associated with aging, spider veins are not restricted to older women. Young women with a family history of spider veins or who have jobs requiring long periods of standing or sitting often develop them.

Walking or leg focused exercises can help reduce your chances of getting spider veins. Anything that improves circulation in the leg or that increases vein strength can decrease spider vein formation.  It has been found that avoiding weight gain and ensuring you move around frequently if your job keeps you sitting or standing for long periods also helps.

However, if you already have spider veins, compression stockings or medical therapy can help improve the appearance of these veins.

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