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Are My Spider Veins Putting My Health in Danger?

Are My Spider Veins Putting My Health in Danger?

Spider veins are a common cosmetic complaint, affecting more than 40% of people in the United States. Known for their blue or purplish “webs,” these small, dilated veins are visible through the skin on your legs, chest, and face. They don’t bulge out like varicose veins, so you might wonder if spider veins put your health in danger. 

In this post, our team of vascular surgeons at Vascular Specialists in Tinley Park and Evergreen Park, Illinois, discuss whether spider veins affect your health and how we treat them at our Vein Care Institute.

Are spider veins dangerous?

In most cases, the biggest problems that spider veins raise are cosmetic ones. Spider veins can develop in prominent places, including your legs and face, which can make some people feel self-conscious about them.

Apart from this, most cases of spider veins don’t cause many symptoms. Some individuals with spider veins may notice tingling, burning, or achiness. These symptoms are more common when spider veins develop on the legs.

What causes spider veins?

While spider veins don’t hurt you 一 and they aren’t an immediate threat to your health 一 they can hint at underlying vein issues that could cause problems if left untreated. To understand what the presence of spider veins can mean for your overall vascular health, let’s look at the causes of spider veins.

Telangiectasias, the official name for spider veins, typically form when the valves in your veins no longer function as they should. Prolonged sitting, prolonged standing, obesity, and smoking can put more stress on the valves in your veins.

If the valves don’t work right, it can cause blood to pool and dilate the tiny superficial blood vessels near the surface of your skin. Malfunctioning valves, and the resultant spider veins and varicose veins, can worsen over time. When your valves become incompetent, it’s called venous insufficiency.

In other words, the development of spider veins may signal the presence of faulty valves in your veins. Varicose veins also develop when malfunctioning valves lead to blood pooling. If you spot spider veins, you may be more likely to get varicose veins too, and varicose veins can affect your health. Untreated varicose veins can increase your risk of ulcers, aches, pains, and blood clots.

Additionally, if you have spider veins in conjunction with other underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, you may have an increased risk of experiencing specific vein-related complications. For instance, high blood sugar can damage your blood vessels, which can compound the issues you already see from weakened valves. 

Treating spider veins

Spider veins and their underlying cause are treatable. Treating spider veins reduces their appearance, but it also allows us an opportunity to examine your veins and check for signs of venous insufficiency or other vein problems.

At Vascular Specialists, we offer sclerotherapy to treat spider veins. During your treatment, we inject a sclerosing agent called Varithena™ into the problematic veins. Varithena is a foam that seals off the spider vein, effectively rerouting blood to other healthier veins. The damaged veins fade away.

Treating spider veins is easy, and it can help you avoid the complications of untreated vein issues. If you’re not happy with your spider veins, call the location of your choice to request a spider vein consultation or schedule an appointment online.

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