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Spider Veins

Carolina Vein Institute

Varicose Vein Specialists & Aesthetic Injectors located in Chapel Hill, NC; Raleigh, NC; & Apex, NC

Between 30-60% of American adults have spider veins. Though common, without treatment, spider veins can negatively affect your confidence and self-esteem. At Carolina Vein Institute, with three convenient locations in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Apex, North Carolina, vein specialists Ashley Baquero, MD, Luan Tran, MD, and the team provide minimally invasive, outpatient treatments to safely eradicate spider veins. To schedule an appointment today, call the nearest location, or book a consultation online.

Spider Veins Q & A

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are clusters of small, damaged veins that develop just below the surface of the skin. They’re red, green, or purple and resemble a spider web, hence their name.

Spider veins can occur anywhere on the body, but they’re especially common on the face and the lower extremities like the calves and thighs. They aren’t harmful and typically don’t present any symptoms. 

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins occur when your vein valves stop working properly. Your veins help pump blood back to your heart. If one or several valves malfunction, blood can flow backward and pool. When left untreated, this pooling causes the veins to bulge and branch out, resulting in spider veins. 

Spider veins on the face usually occur due to tiny blood vessels bursting. Regular sun exposure can speed this process up.

Who is at risk of spider veins?

Spider veins affect people of all races and genders, but several factors increase your risk, including:

  • Having a family history of them
  • Being pregnant
  • Being middle-aged or older
  • Sitting or standing for long periods
  • Being overweight
  • Having a history of blood clots or vein damage

Hormonal treatments, such as birth control or hormone replacement therapy for menopause, may also increase your risk. Studies show that excess estrogen can weaken vein valves.  

How are spider veins diagnosed?

To diagnose spider veins, Carolina Vein Institute conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, including how often you exercise, if you drink alcohol, and your goals for treatment.

If your provider suspects poor blood flow or another circulatory problem is to blame, they might order an on-site ultrasound. An ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to take pictures of your veins. 

How are spider veins treated?

Treatment for spider veins depends on the severity of your symptoms and your individual goals. Usually, Carolina Vein Institute recommends minimally invasive, outpatient treatments, such as sclerotherapy.

You might also benefit from wearing compression stockings or support pantyhose. These garments place light pressure on your legs, improving blood flow while lowering your risk of blood clots and swelling.

To learn more about treatment for spider veins, schedule an appointment at Carolina Vein Institute. Call the nearest office today, or book a consultation online.