Are Spider Veins a Health Risk?

Spider veins are a common condition for many adults in the United States. The unsightly web-like, fractured appearance of tiny vessels just beneath the skin most commonly occur on your face or legs.

Not unlike varicose veins, spider veins that show up on your legs are usually the result of weakened venous valves, which causes blood to pool, and forces leg veins to expand, becoming visible through the skin. Spider veins can be a sign of the potential to develop larger, more painful varicose veins.

Spider veins and varicose veins aren’t the same

Varicose veins tend to have a rope-like, twisted appearance. They become visibly bulbous, can ache, and can be painful to the touch. Left untreated, varicose veins can develop sores and cause swelling in your lower legs and ankles, among other health threats.

Spider veins are not as dramatic in appearance, or painful in their symptoms, as varicose veins. These damaged veins are much smaller, don’t bulge, and are more red than purple or blue in appearance, depending on the color of your skin. Spider veins aren’t always caused by valve malfunction.

Causes of spider veins on your face or legs

In the legs, the cause is typically connected to extra weight, such as from pregnancy or obesity, which puts strain on your venous valves. Other causes include genetics, birth control pills, hormonal influences, and age. If your job requires you to be either fairly sedentary or on your feet for most of your work day, your risk of developing spider veins is high. 

Men and women who develop unsightly webs of spider veins on the face can attribute the cause to sun damage and increased pressure on the face associated with straining due to prolonged coughing, excessive vomiting, or the pushing of childbirth. Genetics also plays a role in developing facial spider veins.

The health risks of spider veins

Spider veins can signal your potential to develop varicose veins. In 60% of individuals who have spider veins in the legs, varicose veins are soon to follow. While spider veins are usually nothing to worry about, other than for their unsightly appearance, developing varicose veins puts you at greater risk for bleeding and skin ulcers.

When spider veins and varicose veins are present, they may indicate a deeper venous issue. Veins deep within your legs can swell in the same way spider and varicose veins do, meaning you are at risk for blood clots. Pain, swelling, discoloration, are all symptoms of blood clots in the legs. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop these symptoms.

Treatment for spider veins

Treating your spider veins involves a relatively easy process. At Star Laser, Dr. Lakshmi Palakurthi uses the innovative Aerolase® Neo® laser system to get rid of those unsightly spider veins on your face and legs for good. 

This painless, effective spider vein removal system creates pulses of laser heat that cause the vein to seal itself off from the blood supply. With no blood, the vein withers and dies. Your body re-routes the blood and absorbs the dead tissue so you no longer see discoloration.

The state-of-the-art Aerolase® process allows removal of spider veins without burning, or scarring, making it especially appealing for those with facial spider veins. The Aerolase® Neo® system is safe for all skin tones and types. 

If you live in the Troy and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, areas, Star Laser offers the ideal solution for your unsightly and bothersome spider veins. Contact Star Laser today to discuss any concerns about spider veins on your face or legs.

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