As we grow older, many of us can find a jagged purple lines spreading across our thighs and calves. Spider veins can occur in up to 60% of adults. Usually blue, red, or purple, spider veins are cluster of small, thin veins. Visible under the skin, they form a web-like structure and occur when valves in the blood vessels become weak and cannot push blood back toward the heart.
When small valves in the veins become weak, varicose veins may develop. These valves usually stop blood from flowing back through the veins and may pool in the veins when they are damaged. This causes twisted and swollen veins to become very visible.
Causes of Spider Veins
There can be a number of factors for spider veins. These include heredity, obesity, postmenopausal hormonal replacement, a history of blood clots, the use of birth control pills as well as occupations that involve a lot of standing, such as nurses, hair stylists, teachers, and factory workers.
Spider veins are more common in women than in men, and they increase in frequency with age. Although often painless, some people with spider veins complain about pain, described in the legs as an aching or cramping. Other common symptoms include fatigue, restlessness, burning, throbbing and tingling.