40-60% of all women and men suffer from spider veins
Here you find detailed information about spider veins and their symptoms
Development of spider veins & underlying causes
The worst thing about spider veins is that almost nobody is immune to them. Fat or thin, athletic or not, spider veins can affect everybody.
Spider veins may be the result of a hereditary weakness of connective tissue or caused by vein insufficiency with congestion (pooling) of blood in the vein system. Over time, the small veins lose their original elasticity and become worn out. Dilated veins can then be seen as bluish or reddish-purple spider veins.
Advancing age, natural hormonal changes (pregnancy and the menopause), hormone-based medicines such as the Pill, lack of exercise, standing for long periods at work, overweight, and smoking may all encourage spider veins to develop or make the problem worse.
Most spider veins have a feeder vein – a larger vein, lying deeper in the tissue, which supplies them with blood. It is important to include this feeder vein in the treatment, otherwise blood will continue to flow into the spider veins and give poor therapeutic results.
Several studies have shown that spider veins have valves just like those in the larger varicose veins. They are, of course, extremely small and are therefore referred to as microvalves. Just as in the larger veins, leaky valves may play a decisive role in the development of spider veins. However, experts are not entirely in agreement on how spider veins really develop.
As spider veins often do not cause any symptoms and have no effects on the blood flow returning to the heart, small varicose veins are usually regarded as a cosmetic problem that does not need to be treated on medical grounds. Which means that you will probably have to meet the costs of dealing with these bothersome spider veins yourself.
In a few cases, spider veins and reticular veins may be the manifestation of advanced varicose disease. Very pronounced spider veins, in particular, may be caused by an underlying disease of the side branch or trunk veins. According to the Bonn Vein Study, 60% of adults have only spider veins and reticular veins, while about 30% have serious varicose disease in need of treatment. Almost all patients with disease of the trunk veins also have spider veins.
A thorough diagnostic examination of the leg veins is therefore important, so that a deeper-lying problem is not overlooked.