Spider veins can really put a damper on things. Not only can they be ugly, but they can also be rather uncomfortable and even painful. In any case, they’re hard to ignore. Here, we’ll go over the causes of spider veins and, ultimately, how to treat spider veins to keep them from consuming any more of your life.
The Causes of Spider Veins
Weakening veins or valves
The causes of spider veins are all related to the weakening of venous valves. These valves make sure blood flow only goes in one direction. Basically, they are one-way skin flaps that stop the blood from giving into gravity and flowing back into your lower veins. In the event of your valves becoming weak and the blood is able to flow backwards, the blood can build up, swelling the veins into varicose and spider veins. Essentially, you’re seeing the work of gravity.
Typically, what causes varicose veins is aging, as we see them appear more and more as we get older. A lot of it is perfectly natural, but there are things we can do to work against them. They are very common, though—around 55% of women and 45% of men suffer from spider veins. The main cause of spider veins with aging is the weakening of your valves.
Sometimes, people are born with weak vein valves. This is actually very common, as 50% of people who have or have had spider veins have a family member who also suffers from them.
During pregnancy, the body goes through some intense and extreme changes. For example, the amount of blood within the body changes. This can easily lead to the veins becoming enlarged. Also, the uterus expanding in size can also put a lot of pressure on the veins.
When a woman is pregnant, she goes through many hormonal changes. Estrogen and progesterone (which can come from birth control as well) can help form varicose and spider veins.
Just like with pregnancy, some spider vein causes involve stretching that happens within the veins, damaging or weakening the valves. Obesity can cause this extra pressure and weight on the veins.
Yes, the sun itself can actually cause damage to our vascular system. Typically, this is only exhibited within the face (cheeks, nose, etc.) because this is where your skin is most sensitive. Especially on the skin of someone is who pale, or fair skinned, this can lead to slight spider veins.
Stress is a bit of a wildcard when it comes to your health. You can almost pin it in every category and find a correlation with your health and stress. However, with your vascular system, there are multiple ways stress is one of the biggest causes of spider veins.
First of all, stress can increase blood pressure, which can build up and damage the valves. This can lead to spider or varicose veins pretty early on. Stress has also been linked to weight gain, which is another one of the biggest causes of spider veins.