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Can My Spider Veins Put My Health in Danger?

Can My Spider Veins Put My Health in Danger?

You may recognize spider veins as visible red, purple, or blue veins that resemble tree branches or spider webs. Spider veins affect capillaries, the smallest type of blood vessels in your body, and they often appear on your face and legs.

They’re a common cosmetic complaint, but is there more going on under the surface? Can spider veins put your health in danger? The quick answer is no.

Spider veins themselves don’t put your health in danger. However, they may hint at any underlying vein condition that can mean trouble. Here’s what our team of board-certified, fellowship-trained vascular surgeons at Vascular Specialists wants you to know.

Why spider veins develop

All of your veins contain small valves that help your blood flow in the right direction. These valves are particularly beneficial in your legs as blood must flow up against the force of gravity to return to your heart. 

If injury or disease weakens any of these valves, it can compromise blood flow. Blood may flow backward or pool in your veins. In larger veins, varicose veins may develop, but in smaller capillaries, you’ll see the telltale webs form. 

Risk factors for spider veins include obesity, standing on your feet all day, taking certain birth control pills, having a family history of vein issues, taking hormone supplements, and pregnancy. Spider veins don’t often cause symptoms apart from the visible webs. This is why many people believe that spider veins are solely cosmetic issues. 

The hidden danger of vein issues

If the smallest of your blood vessels are having issues with their valves, you may wonder if your other blood vessels have issues with the one-way valves. While spider veins aren’t a life-threatening concern, they can be a red flag for venous insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency — when your blood doesn’t flow back to your heart as efficiently as it should — is just one of the many venous diseases that can affect your veins. Left untreated, it can lead to varicose veins (which also increase the risk of venous ulcers), itchiness, deep vein thrombosis, leg swelling, and a heavy sensation in your legs. 

Spider vein and varicose vein management

The good news is that you don’t have to wait for bigger issues to appear before you seek treatment. At Vascular Specialists, we offer vascular ultrasounds to highlight any areas of blockage or damage in your circulatory system. 

Based on your exam, review of your medical history and symptoms, and an analysis of your imaging test, our specialists may recommend any of the following treatments in our Vein Care Clinic Institute

Treating spider veins and varicose veins can address the cosmetic and health concerns posed by faulty veins. By sealing off problematic veins so your body reroutes blood through healthy veins, you see an improvement in the appearance of your legs and a reduction in any symptoms you may have. 

If you have pesky spider veins and would like to explore your treatment options, contact Vascular Specialists in Tinley Park or Evergreen Park, Illinois, to book your consultation today.

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