Spider veins are caused by the swelling of veins close to the surface of the skin. Veins have valves that sometimes break or become weak. This causes a back up of blood, swelling and their typical web-like appearance, explains Healthline.
The risk of developing spider veins increases with age. Estimates show that as many as 75 percent of women between the ages of 60 and 70 have spider veins. Other risk factors include a family history of spider veins, a history of blood clots, contraceptive use, pregnancy, periods of long standing, wearing tight clothes, obesity, constipation, and sun exposure, according to Healthline.
The most common symptom of spider veins is their web-like appearance on the skin. Other symptoms include pain, swelling, rash, throbbing, cramping, aching, itchiness and ulceration, explains Healthline.
Most spider veins are not dangerous and require treatment only if symptoms are present. Some people choose to undergo treatment for cosmetic reasons. The most common treatment is sclerotherapy. This procedure involves the injection of a sclerosing agent into the bad vein, which causes it to undergo endothelial damage, fibrosis, and eventual absorption by the body, explains Medscape.
To relieve the pressure that leads to spider veins, Everyday Health suggests maintaining a normal weight, walking throughout the day, or running or jogging to improve circulation. Elevating the feet higher than the heart also alleviates the symptoms, such as leg heaviness and fatigue, that appear with spider veins. Wearing sunscreen can assist in getting rid of spider veins on the nose and cheeks. Varicose vein treatment prevents the development of future spider veins, according to Everyday Health.
Other treatments include the use of compression stockings, which helps push the veins, relieving the discomfort commonly associated with spider veins. Laser treatment involves the use of a laser to make the vein fade away. Deeper veins are frequently treated with surgery, according to Healthline.