Spider veins

This text provides information in simple language on the topic: spider veins.

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are very small blood vessels. They carry the blood to the heart. Spider veins run under the skin. But you can see spider veins on your skin. From a distance, spider veins look like a bruise. Up close you can see the reddish or bluish small veins of the spider veins. Spider veins are a form of varicose veins.

How do varicose veins develop? Our video shows:

What are the causes of spider veins?

Some of the causes of spider veins include:

  • Disposition. A disposition is an innate trait. Do other people in your family have spider veins or varicose veins? Then you too are more likely to get spider veins or varicose veins.
  • Gender. Women are more likely to develop spider veins or varicose veins than men.
  • Connective tissue weakness. If the connective tissue is weak, the veins wear out. The blood vessels can only transport the blood slowly. Sometimes the blood builds up. The congestion makes the small blood vessels under the skin visible. The veins in the legs are often particularly affected.

How can you recognize spider veins?

Spider veins are reddish or bluish small veins. They are visible through the skin. Spider veins on the legs are particularly common. They sometimes appear on the face or chest area. Spider veins usually don't hurt.

Note: Most of the time, spider veins are harmless. However, spider veins can very rarely be a sign of a venous disease. This venous disease needs treatment. This is why you should show spider veins to the doctor.

How can you avoid spider veins?

You can't prevent spider veins. But you can slow down spider veins. You can do that:

  • do not wear clothes that are too tight,
  • wear flat shoes
  • do you wear support stockings,
  • avoid obesity,
  • treat high blood pressure
  • and put your legs up more often.

Do you often sit for a long time or stand a lot? Then move around in between. Alternately move your heel and toe up and down.

What can you do about spider veins?

Do you have spider veins? Then you don't have to have the spider veins removed. Because spider veins are not dangerous.

Note: You can have your spider veins removed. But you have to pay for that yourself. Health insurance companies often do not pay for this treatment.

Would you still like to have your spider veins removed? Then a vein specialist can help you. The vein specialist will examine you with an ultrasound machine. The vein specialist uses this to check your veins. Then the vein specialist can remove the spider veins using various methods such as:

  • Sclerotherapy
  • Laser therapy

In the case of sclerotherapy, the vein specialist puts an agent into the veins of the spider veins. This remedy sticks the walls of the veins together. The veins are then no longer supplied with blood. Therefore, the body slowly breaks down these veins. After a few weeks you can no longer see the veins. But the skin can sometimes turn brown in the affected areas.

In laser therapy, the energy from laser beams removes the spider veins. Lasers emit a certain type of light. The laser does not leave any scars. But sometimes the laser changes the color of the skin. Doctors use this method especially for very fine veins.

The doctor can also combine sclerotherapy and laser therapy.

Note: With both methods, one treatment is often not enough. The treatment must therefore be repeated several times.

Wear a suitable compression stocking after the treatment. You can buy these in a pharmacy or in a medical supply store.

Where can you get more information?

Would you like to read more about spider veins? You can find more information about spider veins here. Attention: This link leads out of our simple language offer. The information is then no longer in plain language.

Attention: This text only contains general information. The text does not replace a visit to the doctor. Only a doctor can give you accurate information. Are you feeling sick? Or do you have questions about an illness? Then you should always see a doctor.

We wrote the texts together with the Light Language Research Center. The light language research center is at the University of Hildesheim.