About 85% of women and 80% of men suffer from visible veins. Although they affect women more than men, and older folks more often than the younger crowd, nearly everyone agrees that these tangled, ropey, bulging lines are unsightly and annoying.
Fortunately, they’re typically no cause for medical concern, although varicose veins may lead to complications, including venous ulcers and blood clots.
Spider veins, on the other hand, are almost always purely a cosmetic distraction, but that doesn’t mean they’re harmless. Depending on where they’re located, how big they are, and how many you have, spider veins can do some serious damage to your self-confidence and sabotage a healthy body image.
We help you avoid these calamities at Alabama Vein & Restoration Center by clearing away your unsightly spider veins quickly, painlessly, and safely. Led by Dr. Charles Hunt II, our board-certified cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, our team treats all venous issues with skill and compassion.
If you have spider veins, knowing what causes them is often part of your treatment, as lifestyle changes can sometimes reverse the problem. Here the eight main reasons people get spider veins.
Being overweight or obese puts extra pressure on your veins, which can damage the one-way valves that keep the blood from reversing direction or pooling in one spot. If you’re extremely overweight, your varicose and spider veins may be hiding, which can pose a health risk if you develop venous insufficiency.
In addition to carrying extra weight when you’re pregnant, your blood volume also increases significantly. This puts added stress on your veins as they try to deliver blood from your legs to your heart against gravity. If the valves fail or the walls weaken, you may end up with spider veins.
3. High heels
High heels may make your legs look good, but they may also promote the development of spider veins. When you walk in high-heeled shoes, your body weight shifts forward and your leg muscles contract to keep you balanced. This restricts the blood flow in your veins and keeps them under constant pressure, which may lead to spider veins.
4. Shoes with no support
Proper shoes promote proper circulation. It’s not just high heels that cause a problem, it’s also a lack of support. In fact, going barefoot for hours a day can contribute to spider veins in your legs because it adds pressure to your whole foot and impedes blood flow. Instead of going barefoot at home, get a pair of supportive slippers, and make sure your outdoor shoes support your arch and fit well.
A sedentary lifestyle wreaks havoc with your circulatory system. Sitting at a desk all day decreases your blood flow, which can cause plaque buildup in your veins. If your veins narrow and your valves weaken, blood backs up and shows through your skin. Sitting around all day also leads to inflammation, which puts more pressure on your veins and leads to spider veins.
Standing isn’t any better than sitting when it comes to your vein health. Teachers are notorious for experiencing spider veins because blood pools in their legs. The first signs are spider veins, but they often develop into their bulging cousins, varicose veins.
It’s a fact of life that everything breaks down as it ages, including your veins. After years of pumping blood and dealing with the challenges of gravity, body weight, and plaque buildup, veins eventually degrade and succumb to age, which is why spider veins are so prevalent among the elderly.
Although many factors that lead to spider veins are preventable, age and heredity are the two you can’t do anything about. If spider or varicose veins run in your family, you’re more likely to suffer from them as well.
Treatment for spider veins
If any of the first six causes we listed above apply to you, then making a few lifestyle changes can go a long way in treating your spider veins and improving your venous health. Compression stockings are also a great at-home treatment that can increase your blood flow and take the pressure off individual veins.
Of course, if you have spider veins that you want to get rid of quickly, we can help. Dr. Hunt uses either scleropathy or Veinwave, depending on where your spider veins are located and their severity.
Scleropathy is merely a solution injected into your veins to destroy the weakened or damaged veins and mark them for removal. Veinwave does the same thing, except it uses therapeutic heat instead of a chemical injection to get the job done.
If you have unsightly spider veins you want to banish before summer, start now by contacting us at any of our five locations in Hoover, Fultondale, Clanton, Tuscaloosa, or Oxford, Alabama, or requesting an appointment online today.