Spider veins are visible small veins within the skin. These are a form of varicose vein disease and could be the first sign of venous insufficiency. The size of spider veins may be thinner than a hair or nearly as wide as a spaghetti noodle. They can be of different colors and vary from pink, to red, to purple. They can be single and isolated, or occur in clusters that can look like a large bruise. Spider veins can occur anywhere but are most frequent on the thigh and calf of the lower extremities. They are permanent once they appear and tend to increase in number over time.
All causes of spider veins are still unknown; however, there are several reasons that contribute to their occurrence. One cause is genetics, and spider veins frequently run in families. Also, hormones play a significant role. Women tend to have spider veins more frequently than men. Gravity tends to take its share and puts strain of our veins. Sometimes they can appear locally after surgery or trauma. Dietary supplements are of no help at reversing the occurrence of spider veins.
It is important to note that most spider veins are associated with reticular or feeding veins, which are located just beneath the skin. When associated with spider veins, these reticular veins also must be treated to obtain successful results; without treating reticular veins, new spider veins will appear fed by these untreated reticular veins. Sometimes spider veins are also associated with abnormal larger veins located beneath the skin and are the result of the diseased deep and superficial veins. This possibility warrants the use of ultrasound to check for underlying venous disease because treatment should be directed first at the deeper veins. Failure to treat associated vein disease is the most common reason for poor results in patients who had their spider veins treated elsewhere.
Since spider veins are often associated with the diseased deeper veins, it is important to first treat the true cause of these spider veins—larger varicose veins underneath the skin. This will help you to obtain great long-term results and avoid occurrence of these spider veins in the same area again. For this reason it is crucial to be examined and diagnosed by an expert vein specialist who will treat your disease not just on the surface of your skin, but will go deeper to its roots.