6 Causes of Spider Veins and Tips to Prevent Them

6 Causes of Spider Veins and Tips to Prevent Them

spider veinsAging


Spider veins are those little bluish-purple veins that look like small trees branching across your legs, face, or hands. They’re not dangerous, but most people feel they’re unattractive. Many people wonder how they got their spider veins. So, what are the six causes of spider veins? What are some tips to prevent them?

Spider veins aren’t dangerous, but noticeable when you’re wearing shorts, a dress or a skirt. Some people get them on their faces, arms, or hands. Spider veins are veins that have clustered underneath your skin.

They take their name from their appearance because their branches look like spider legs. Some of these patterns are larger than others. If you have spider veins, you’re not alone. Studies found that 41% of women over the age of 50 have spider veins. But even younger women may have them.


What’s the difference between spider veins and varicose veins?

You may have heard or seen varicose veins on people’s legs. They are large bulgy looking, swollen blood vessels that you can see right under the skin. They’re uncomfortable and swell. They cause cramping when you walk. Varicose veins are found only in the legs or abdomen, but spider veins are on other parts of your body.

You may need treatment to prevent your symptoms from getting worse. Both men and women can get varicose and spider veins, but women are more prone to them. It’s usually something you get as you age. A small percentage of people end up with blood clots due to their varicose veins.

spider veins

 Interesting fact:

Athletes who participate in weightlifting, skiing, and backpacking are more prone to varicose veins because of the weight they’re carrying for long periods. Also, runners and cyclists add stress to their blood vessels from the repetitive movement, which can lead to spider or varicose veins.

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins aren’t harmful, and they don’t hurt, but they’re not pretty. Varicose veins, on the other hand, are painful. It’s essential to understand why you have spider veins. So, here are six causes of spider veins.

6 Reasons You Might Get Spider Veins

  1. Heredity

Sorry for the bad news, but if your mom or dad or grandma has varicose veins, you will too. It’s in your genes, so it’s good to plan ahead of time. Heredity is also a prime risk factor for getting spider veins.  Heredity could cause swelling of the vessels for several reasons.


  • If you don’t have enough valves in your veins in your legs or abdomen
  • Valves don’t work correctly.
  • If you’re born with abnormalities in the wall of your vein, this may cause your values to separate and leak.
  • Your family history is a substantial contributing factor contributing to even young women or men getting them in their twenties.
  1. Career choice

Your work can make you more prone to getting spider veins or varicose veins. If you stand a lot or walk all day on a hard surface, you’ll be likely to get them over time. Some of the jobs requiring a day filled standing include, the following:

  • Teachers
  • Hair Stylists
  • Factory workers
  • Mail carriers
  • Cashiers or retail associates
  • Tour guide
  • Nurses

Be sure to wear good shoes if your job requires you to stand on your feet all day. Support hose can help your legs if you have varicose veins already. They can help lower the pain from varicose veins and prevent them from getting worse. Take breaks and do leg stretches to help relax your legs.

  1. Being obese

You’re considered obese, meaning you have too much body fat. Obesity is not ideal for your health. It causes joint problems, heart,  high blood sugar, and elevated blood pressure. Being obese can also cause varicose and spider veins.

  1. Smoking

One study found that smokers have a higher rate of both spidery and varicose veins compared to non-smokers. There are two main reasons why smoking causes these damaged veins.

  1. Smoking narrows the veins in your legs. Over time, the lining to your vessels change, they get hardened, plus the blood can’t flow as easily back to your heart. Blood starts to pool, and then your veins will bulge and hurt.
  2. Carbon monoxide and tar in cigarettes can damage your veins. Carbon monoxide sucks out the oxygen out in your blood, which also inflames your veins.

quit smoking

  1. Sun damage

Staying out in the sun under the harsh rays of the sun damages your skin. The ultraviolet rays will break down the collagen under your skin and the blood vessels under your skin, causing spider veins. The sun can also cause your blood vessels to come out on your nose and cheeks, which become spider veins. This scenario is especially common for people with lighter skin.


  1. Old age

As you age, you are more prone to getting spider veins. Regular wear and tear of aging are hard on your vein’s valves, which control the blood flow. Your veins get weaker because of this. Also, as your calf muscles get weaker, this contributes to you getting spider veins.

Tips to prevent spider veins

Wearing sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen will protect you from damaging ultraviolet rays. Most dermatologists suggest you use at least an SPF 30 sunscreen if you’re going out in the sun. This can block at least 97% of the UVB rays that cause spider veins. It’s good to wear a coverup, a hat, and to try to sit under an umbrella to limit your time in the direct sun. Reapply your sunscreen after you swim or if you’ve been outside for a while.

Stay a healthy weight.

Try to keep your weight down by eating healthy. Ask your doctor for suggestions for a healthy eating plan. If you are obese, look into a special diet plan. These programs help you in losing lots of weight. However, you may need a doctor’s recommendation so you can stay healthy while you lose weight.

Compression stockings

These stockings provide your legs support, which protects your veins. If your job requires you to be on your feet all day, be sure to wear these at least part of the day. They come in different colors and sizes.

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