Spider veins are tiny veins that appear just below the surface of the skin, normally on the legs, ankles, and calves.
They are a milder type of varicose veins and appear as red, blue, or purple spider web-shaped discolorations. These and are more common in women than women.
While these can be hereditary, they are often related to pregnancy or weight gain, older age, inactivity, smoking, and have also been linked to birth control pills or hormone replacement.
These veins develop when the valves in your veins are not allowing for blood to flow normally. The U.S. government’s Office of Women’s Health describes it like this: “Normally, your veins have valves that act as one-way flaps. But, if the valves don’t close correctly, blood can leak back into the lower part of the vein rather than going toward the heart. Over time, more blood gets stuck in the vein, building pressure that weakens the walls of the vein. This causes the vein to grow larger.”
While in most cases spider veins are just something that we’d rather not have, it is recommended you see a doctor if the veins are more prominent or become swollen, red, or very tender or warm to the touch; this can be a sign of a blood clot. You should also talk with a doctor if you have sores or rash around the area, or if the skin around it changes color or begins to bleed.
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