Are Spider Veins a Health Risk?

Apr 10, 2023
Are Spider Veins a Health Risk?
Those blueish-purple veins definitely look serious, but how do you know for sure when (or if) they need medical attention? Here, we take the guesswork out of your health and give you straight-from-the-expert advice on what to do about your spider veins.

It's understandably concerning when you notice that your once-clear skin suddenly has blue and purple zig-zags darting across it. 

You feel fine, but there's no way it's healthy to be able to see your veins, right? 

It's a great question with a simple answer — and our experts at Apex Endovascular in Fort Collins, Colorado, are here to answer it. 

Here's everything you should know about spider veins and what they mean for your overall health. 

Understanding where spider veins come from

Spider veins are the result of an underlying problem with your vascular system. Your vascular system primarily comprises vessels that carry blood away from your heart (arteries) and toward your heart (veins). 

Compared to your arteries, your veins have a much harder job. That's because they often have to push blood against the force of gravity to keep it moving in the right direction. So, your veins come equipped with valves that open and close with every heartbeat. 

Spider veins occur when your veins weaken and the valves within them stop working properly. As a result, your blood pools and causes your veins to be visible. 

Valves inside your veins can weaken for several reasons, including hormonal changes and aging to excess weight and pressure from standing for long periods — even tight, restrictive clothing can play a role. 

Some other risk factors are:

  • Family history of spider veins
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Sitting with your legs crossed
  • Excessive exposure to the sun

Varicose veins (spider veins' cousin) develop when your blood pools so much that your veins become enlarged and appear knotted and twisted. Both spider and varicose veins tend to appear on your legs, feet, and ankles. 

When your veins are a problem

The good news is that even if your spider veins look like a big problem, they rarely threaten your health. In the most severe case of varicose veins, you can develop a blood clot. Otherwise, they're almost always a cosmetic issue. 

Getting rid of spider veins

We start treating spider veins conservatively with simple interventions and health habits. This usually includes:

  • Wearing compression stockings
  • Exercising more often
  • Elevating your legs when sitting or lying down
  • Avoiding standing for long periods

These strategies can also help you prevent spider veins from developing in the future. However, the only way to really get rid of them for good is with the help of our treatments. We offer a wide range of vein treatments that employ minimally invasive techniques to close off your malfunctioning veins. 

Depending on your needs, we may recommend Venaseal™, endovenous laser therapy (EVLT), sclerotherapy, radiofrequency vein ablation, or phlebectomy. With these treatments, we can usually help you avoid needing aggressive surgical interventions to resolve your spider veins. 

We use advanced vascular evaluation methods to closely examine your veins before recommending a treatment plan. 

Don't let spider veins keep you covering up your legs and feet. Instead, see our experts and begin a journey toward amazing, healthy skin. Call or click to schedule an appointment at our Fort Collins, Colorado office today.