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      Warner Robins, GA 31093

      What Causes Spider Veins

      What Causes Spider Veins?

      Spider veins sound like a makeup technique reserved for Halloween. But sadly, they’re real — and they’re really common, too. In fact, 80-85% of American adults have spider veins or their larger counterparts, varicose veins.

      While having a lot of spider veins could be a sign of an underlying problem, a few spider veins are rarely a cause of serious vein problems. Still, they can make you feel self-conscious about the way your skin looks.

      The good news: No matter how many spider veins you have, they can usually be treated with a simple, in-office procedure. Ideally though, you’d like to prevent spider veins or reduce your risks of getting them. To do that, you need to understand why they happen in the first place.

      At Middle Georgia Vascular Surgery Center & Vein Solutions, Dr. Allison Burkett uses advanced techniques to diagnose the cause of spider veins and to treat them for better circulation and improved overall health. If you have spider veins, here’s what she wants you to know about their causes and their treatments.

      Spider veins: Why they happen

      Spider veins often occur with age as our veins become weaker. When tiny valves inside veins stop working and blood can pool up, resulting in increased pressure in the tiny veins. The result is the appearance of purplish or bluish spider veins.

      Some people have risk factors or habits that make spider veins more likely. Those factors and habits include:

      • Standing or sitting for long periods of time
      • Being overweight or obese
      • Being pregnant
      • Having family members with spider veins or varicose veins
      • History of blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
      • Smoking habit
      • Excess sun exposure
      • Wearing tight clothing on a regular basis

      Spider veins also happen more often as we get older.

      Treating spider veins

      The first step in deciding if your spider veins need treatment is to evaluate your symptoms. Some very mild spider veins may cause no symptoms beyond their weblike appearance near the surface of your skin. But as more veins are affected, you can wind up with other symptoms, like:

      • Burning
      • Itching
      • Leg fatigue or heaviness
      • Leg pain or cramping
      • Tenderness in the area
      • Changes in skin texture or color

      Scratching or rubbing an area affected by spider veins can lead to leg sores or ulcers, increasing your risk of infections.

      If you have just a few spider veins that aren’t causing any symptoms, Dr. Burkett typically recommends a “wait-and-see” approach, observing the area to see if you develop more spider veins or you start to experience symptoms.

      Often, she advises lifestyle changes, as well, like:

      • Wearing compression socks or stockings
      • Elevating your legs when possible
      • Getting more physical activity, especially walking
      • Avoiding hot tubs and saunas
      • Wearing sunscreen
      • Losing excess weight

      If these conservative approaches don’t help, she may recommend a minimally invasive, in-office treatment called sclerotherapy.

      Sclerotherapy uses injections of special chemical solutions to get rid of spider veins. The chemicals irritate the vein linings, causing the tiny veins to close. The vein is absorbed by your body over the following weeks, and blood is rerouted to healthy veins.

      Keep your veins healthy

      Even if your spider veins don’t need treatment right now, it’s still important to have new veins evaluated. Just like varicose veins, spider veins can be an early indicator of a serious problem that affects your larger veins — veins that can’t be seen through your skin.

      Vein evaluation is a simple process that can yield a lot of information about your vascular health. To schedule a vein checkup at our office in Warner Robins, Georgia, or to learn more about spider vein treatment, call (478) 238-5513 or book an appointment online.

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