Causes and Treatments for Spider Veins

Spider veins aren’t a threat to your health, but they’re exceptionally noticeable, which is why so many patients come to Vein Health Clinics to have them removed. As a vein specialist, Dr. Nwobi has extensive experience providing gold-standard treatments that permanently eliminate annoying spider veins.

The cause of spider veins

Spider veins, which are also called telangiectasia, occur when small blood vessels near the skin’s surface become enlarged due to weakened valves. Normally, the valves inside veins open to let blood flow toward the heart, then they close to prevent it from flowing backwards.

When these valves fail to work properly, blood accumulates, making the vein expand and become visible. Since these veins are so small, they take on an appearance that resembles tree branches or spider webs, hence the name spider veins.

You can develop spider veins anywhere on your body, but they most often appear on the face and legs. Spider veins seldom pose a threat to your physical health. However, they have a significant impact on your appearance.

Factors that increase your risk of spider veins

You can’t predict whether you’ll develop spider veins, but a few important factors are known to increase your risk of ending up with thready red-blue-purple veins on your face or legs.

Here are the top risk factors for spider veins:


You’re more likely to develop spider veins as you get older. This may be due to normal age-related changes in the vein walls.


If you have a job that requires extensive time sitting or standing, or you have a sedentary lifestyle, your risk of developing spider veins is higher. Staying immobile affects circulation in your legs, where muscle contractions are needed to push blood up the veins.

If you have to stand for a long time, keep shifting your weight back-and-forth between your legs to keep the blood flowing. For those who spend time sitting, get up every 20 or 30 minutes and go for a short walk.

Sitting with legs crossed

Although this is similar to the problem of immobility, sitting for a short time with your legs crossed can have the same effect as prolonged sitting. Crossing your legs slows down blood flow and weakens valves and muscles in the vein walls.

Hormone changes and pregnancy

Hormonal changes at puberty, during pregnancy, and when women reach menopause can raise your risk of spider veins in your face and legs. Progesterone and estrogen make veins dilate, which pulls at the valves and lets blood flow in the wrong direction.

Pregnancy does even more to increase your risk of spider veins in your legs. The weight of the baby places pressure against leg veins. Blood volume increases, too, which further stretches the veins.

Exposure to sunlight

Being out in the sun can lead to spider veins on your face or legs for the same reason as hormonal changes — warm temperatures dilate the veins just enough to cause spider veins.

Being overweight or obese

Extra weight increases the pressure on veins, which makes them enlarge and weakens the valves.

Treatment for spider veins

The good news is that your spider veins can be quickly and permanently eliminated. Here at Vein Health Clinics, we use two gold-standard treatments to remove spider veins:


During sclerotherapy, Dr. Nwobi uses a microneedle to inject a solution into the targeted spider veins. The solution makes the veins collapse and seal shut, then your body gradually eliminates the waste.

Your sclerotherapy procedure may take 15-60 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated.

The treated veins should fade in a few weeks, but in some cases, it may take a few months before they’re completely cleared away.

Laser vein therapy

Laser treatment destroys the vein using energy to heat the blood vessels. Your spider veins can safely be eliminated without harming the surrounding skin because the laser operates on a wavelength that’s only absorbed by the colored pigments in the veins.

Just like with sclerotherapy, your body gradually removes the dead waste from the treated veins. When that process is finished, the spider veins are gone.

Whether you undergo sclerotherapy or laser treatment, the results are permanent — the targeted veins won’t return. If you’re ready to be done with unsightly spider veins, call Vein Health Clinics or book an appointment online.

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