Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are smaller. They are often red or blue and are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. They can look like tree branches or spider webs with their short jagged lines. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face. They can cover either a very small or very large area of skin.
Who usually has varicose veins and spider veins?
Many factors increase a person's chances of developing varicose or spider veins. These include:
- Increasing Age
- Having family members with vein problems or being born with weak vein valves
- Hormonal changes. These occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Taking birth control pills and other medicines containing estrogen and progesterone also increase the risk of varicose or spider veins
- Pregnancy. During pregnancy there is a huge increase in the amount of blood in the body. This can cause veins to enlarge. The expanding uterus also puts pressure on the veins. Varicose veins usually improve within 3 months after delivery. A growing number of abnormal veins usually appear with each additional pregnancy
- Obesity, leg injury, prolonged standing and other things that weaken vein valves
- Sun exposure, which can cause spider veins on the cheeks or nose of a fair-skinned person