Ask a Doctor: What causes spider veins on my legs?

Ask a Doctor: What causes spider veins on my legs?

November 14th, 2017 by Dr. Vincent Gardner in Life Entertainment

Dr. Vincent Gardner, The Vein Institute at Southern Surgical Arts; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Dr. Vincent Gardner, The Vein Institute at Southern...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Q: I've continued to notice more spider veins on my legs over the years. What causes those?

A: Spider veins are dilated surface veins. They are caused by increased pressure in the veins underneath the skin. Although we don't know exactly why some people get them to a worse degree than others, we do know that the main reason people get them is genetic. We also know that hormones and pregnancy increase one's risk, which is why they are more common in women than men.

Lastly, they tend to worsen as we age, increasing in number and sometimes size. They are commonly treated with sclerotherapy first. Other treatments involve skin lasers or radiofrequency energy devices. Through a series of treatments over a period of time, they can be improved in the majority of patients.

— Dr. Vincent Gardner, The Vein Institute at Southern Surgical Arts; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society


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