Are Spider Veins a Health Concern?

Are Spider Veins a Health Concern?

Medically known as telangiectasias, spider veins are a common aesthetic concern.  These visible thread-like veins can appear on your hands, face, and legs. Many people cover them up with makeup or long pants, but are you hiding a major health concern by doing that? 

Here, our team at Vascular Specialists answers a common question — “Are my spider veins a health concern?” — and shares what we can do to help at our Vein Care Institute.

What are spider veins?

It’s important to first have a good understanding of what spider veins are. They’re small, damaged blood vessels — specifically capillaries, venules, and arterioles — located near the surface of your skin. Unlike varicose veins, which are larger and may bulge or twist, spider veins are usually smaller and don’t protrude from your skin.

You may be more at risk for spider veins if:

Most of the time, spider veins don’t cause any symptoms apart from their obvious appearance. In rare cases, though, your spider veins may itch or burn. 

Are spider veins a health concern?

Many people view spider veins as a cosmetic issue rather than a significant health concern, but that doesn’t mean you should brush them off. Spider veins can sometimes be associated with underlying venous insufficiency or other circulatory problems. 

If you experience any of the following symptoms in addition to spider veins, don’t hesitate to visit our Vein Care Institute:

These symptoms may indicate a more serious venous condition that requires medical attention and treatment.

What to do about spider veins

While spider veins themselves may not pose a significant health risk, you might still consider treatment for cosmetic reasons or to alleviate discomfort. When you arrive at our Vein Care Institute, our first step is to review your health history, record your symptoms, and review your vascular ultrasound.

These images help paint a clear picture of your vascular health and if you have any underlying vascular conditions — such as venous insufficiency — that are contributing to your spider veins. Depending on the severity of your spider veins, your Vascular Specialists provider may suggest any of the following:

Lifestyle modifications 

Lifestyle modifications won’t undo the spider veins you have, but they can help prevent them from getting worse. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding prolonged periods of standing or sitting can go a long way in keeping your veins healthy. 

The key here is movement throughout the day. The more you move — whether that’s walking, cycling, or even getting up between meetings and doing calf raises — the better your blood can flow.


You can also support your vascular health by following a heart-friendly diet. 

Compression stockings

Wearing compression stockings or socks when your doctor recommends them can help improve your circulation. You may also be instructed to wear compression stockings after various vein treatments. Our team can recommend the right pressure and type of stockings for your needs. 


Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that seals off spider veins. During your treatment, your Vascular Specialists provider injects a special solution (called a sclerosant) into your spider veins. The solution irritates the blood vessels, and they swell shut. Blood then flows through another vein, and your body eventually reabsorbs the problematic spider vein.

The bottom line

While spider veins generally aren’t a cause for alarm, they can sometimes indicate an underlying vascular issue that requires attention. Seeking care for your spider veins accomplishes two goals — addressing your cosmetic concerns and managing any underlying issues — and our team can help with both of those.

To schedule a consultation for your spider veins, give us a call at 815-824-4406. Alternatively, you can use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at our Munster, Indiana, or Tinley Park, Illinois, location.

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