What are Spider Veins, Why Do They Occur?
Spider veins are a very common medical condition that can be safely and effectively treated. Paul M. Friedman, M.D. and Jennifer Peterson, M.D., in Houston, Texas have treated countless patients for this unsightly medical condition. Some of the factors that cause spider veins include:
- Prolonged sitting
- Prolonged standing
Regarding genetics, most women who have spider veins probably have mothers or some other female relative with spider veins. Weak vein walls, weak vein valves and shortage of vein valves all seem to be inherited characteristics.
Regarding pregnancy, fluctuations in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) can cause a softening of the vein walls and vein valves making women’s veins more susceptible to stretching. The increased blood volume, which is necessary to provide circulation to the woman’s fetus, can also cause an increase in pressure on the walls of the veins. For some women, spider veins disappear soon after the birth of their child, however many women will require treatment for this condition.
For those patients who have jobs that require either prolonged sitting or standing, a great amount of pressure develops in the veins of the legs. In both situations, the calf muscles are inactive and cannot help push the blood to the heart. This causes the blood to actually “pool” in the veins resulting in increased pressure on the vein walls.
With some patients, spider veins will appear after an injury or trauma to the vein such as a broken bone, car accident, sports injury or surgery. In some cases, spider veins may not even appear until years after the wound has fully healed.
Vein Conditions and Men
Spider veins in men are usually different than those in women. In men, spider veins are often the result of “blow outs” from varicose veins in close proximity. High pressure from varicose veins causes adjoining superficial veins to stretch and change color. “Ankle flares,” which are spider vein on the outside of the ankle, are associated with CVI (chronic venous insufficiency), a condition where blood is not returned to the heart efficiently.
Facial Spider Veins
Most spider veins are found in the legs; however, there are instances where these unsightly veins are on the face. For some patients, prominent facial veins are caused by rosacea. The cause of rosacea is not fully known, but alcohol, spicy food, and stress may aggravate this condition. Sun exposure can also cause spider veins over time. Some people with chronic allergies can have enlargement of veins around the nose and just below the nostrils.
Effective Spider Vein Treatments
- Vbeam® Perfecta Laser
- Nd:YAG Laser
- Duplex guided sclerotherapy for larger veins
- Outpatient phlebectomy
- Outpatient endovenous ablation
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Regardless of the cause of your vein condition, Paul M. Friedman, M.D. and Jennifer Peterson, M.D. want you to know that there is help available to you. At The Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center in Houston, Texas, we will thoroughly evaluate your condition and then develop a treatment plan designed especially for your unique needs. Please contact us today.