What are spider veins?

Spider Veins (Telangiectasia) are tiny red, blue or purple blood vessels that generally appear on the face, neck and legs, but can develop anywhere on your body. Visually they appear as a cluster of vessels (resembling a spider’s web) and are common in people over 50, but may appear as early as your 20s. Although they can develop in males, they frequently appear more in females. Spider veins are generally harmless, but in some cases they can cause discomfort, throbbing, aching, swelling, or even a burning sensation and tend to worsen throughout the day, especially if you have been on your feet.

Symptoms of spider veins

Aside from their appearance as clusters of red veins, spider veins may cause uncomfortable symptoms including a heaviness and dull aching in your legs, swelling, warm to the touch and tender, sores and rashes, throbbing, cramping, restless legs, discoloration, and itching around the veins.

Causes of spider veins

While venous insufficiency (weakened or damaged valves) is the leading cause of spider veins, other factors may predispose an individual to develop this condition: sitting or standing for extended periods of time, weight gain, hormonal fluctuations, heredity, taking birth control pills, history of blood clots, aging, constipation, and sun exposure. You can lower your risk of developing spider veins by wearing compression socks, wear sunscreen, eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight, along with exercising regularly.