Spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, are tiny twisted veins that appear on the surface of your skin. They they are most common on the legs but can be seen on the face, too. They typically appear as red, blue or purple web-like patterns.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Though spider veins may be primarily be a cosmetic concern, they can indicate an underlying issue with venous insufficiency in which venous blood has a difficult time traveling against gravity. The effects of gravity on the return of venous blood back to the heart is why a majority of spider veins occur on the legs.
When blood pools in the venous capillary system, it gradually stretches out the tiny surface blood vessels. These tiny veins that are closest to the surface of the skin then become visible in twisted, colorful patterns. The cumulative effect over time can affect your sense of well being and quality of life.
Spider veins don’t just develop on the legs. They can be seen on other parts of the body such as the thin and fragile skin of the face, along the nose and cheeks where sun exposure and skin inflammation have irritated the area. In these areas gravity is not a culprit.
Why Do These Veins Develop?
Genetics and lifestyle often lead to spider veins. If one or both of your parents had spider veins, chances are high you will also develop them. If you are overweight, or your job forces you to spend long hours on your feet, you may be at increased risk.
Minor trauma can lead to spider veins, too. This can be occupational or recreational in nature. Nurses, pharmacists and factory workers often develop spider veins from repeatedly leaning up against a counter of work surface. If you live an active lifestyle minor bumps and bruises from a tennis ball, soft ball or other sports can lead to isolated patches of spider veins.
What Are The Differences Between Spider And Varicose Veins?