Spider veins are small red, blue and purple blood vessels that are visible close to the surface of the skin. While these twisting, turning veins typically occur on the legs, they can be visible on the face as well. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, up to 55 percent of women suffer from vein issues at some point in their lives. If you are suffering from venous issues, then it is beneficial to know what causes spider veins and how this bothersome condition can be prevented and treated.

Spider veins most commonly occur among people who have a family history of this condition; those in professions that require long hours on the feet, such as nursing, hair styling, teaching or working in retail; people who are obese; those going through a time of hormonal change, such as puberty, pregnancy or menopause; people who are prescribed birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy; and those with a history of blood clots or abdominal conditions, like tumors, cysts or constipation. They can also be caused by long hours of sitting still, such as on an airplane or in an office job.

The easiest way to prevent spider veins from developing is by losing weight if you are overweight, as well as staying active by walking and exercising regularly. Any activity that boosts your circulation, including swimming and climbing stairs, is beneficial.

If you have a desk job, strengthen your calf muscles by raising yourself up on the balls of your feet and then lowering back down several times a day. And since smoking constricts your circulation, quitting smoking can also lower your risk of developing spider veins.

While spider veins are usually harmless, they can be a precursor to varicose veins, which are larger and cause painful symptoms. Even when they aren’t causing health problems, though, spider veins are a cosmetic concern for many women. If you’re bothered by the look of your spider veins or are worried that they may develop into varicose veins, treatment options are available.

At the Advanced Vein Center in South Portland, our highly qualified medical professional can examine your spider veins and help determine the appropriate method of treatment. Common options include sclerotherapy, in which the veins are injected with a special solution that causes them to dry up and disappear within four to six weeks; endovenous laser treatment, in which the veins are targeted with pulses of light; and much more. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment to learn more about our treatment options for spider veins.