Serving the Atlanta and Decatur communities for over twenty years.


Getting the Leg Up on Spider Veins

Spider veins are a common venous disorder that affects the body’s blood vessels. Known scientifically as telangiectasias or vascular ectasias, spider veins, like varicose veins, are dilated blood vessels, except they are smaller and much more close to skin. The veins often occur across the legs, feet, and face, specifically around the cheeks, chin, and nose, usually in the form of thin red or blue lines or webs, hence their name.


Spider veins are caused by increased pressure in the veins. When a valve becomes weak or defective, blood flows backward and collects in the veins. The resulting increase in pressure, called venous hypertension, weakens the blood vessel wall. This causes the veins to enlarge and twist. Larger blood vessels swell into varicose veins, while smaller veins become spider veins.


Although doctors have explanation as to what’s intravenously causing the condition,it can be difficult to pinpoint why they occur in each individual. For example, doctors and medical researchers often cite heredity as a major factor in developing both spider and varicose veins, but are sometimes unable to offer any insight as to why the veins occur other than if the condition runs in the family of a person, then that individual is more susceptible.


A number of other factors may place patients at risk. For fairer skinned individuals, excessive sun exposure can cause spider veins to appear on the nose and cheeks. Overweight people, because of the pressure that extra pounds place on the legs, feet, and joints, are also susceptible to the development of spider veins. If you’re inactive during the day or have a profession that forces you to stand or sit for long periods of time, you may also be at risk for spider veins.


Women and the elderly develop spider veins most often. As age increases, the valves and walls in your veins get weaker, increasing the risk of spider veins appearing. In women, hormones, birth control pills, and pregnancy are contributing factors as well.


While they are rather unsightly, spider veins are not life-threatening, though the aching and burning sensations spider veins may cause in some individuals can be bothersome. If seeking a solution, Vein and Skin Laser Center offers sclerotherapy. The procedure involves injecting a solution in the affected veins. The blood in the injected vessels begins to clot and the vessels themselves swell up and stick together. The veins then become scar tissue, which fades over time.


If you want to find out if sclerotherapy is right for you, visit one of the Vein and Skin Laser center locations near you. Also, click here to see how our work on spider veins has improved the lives of our patients.