6 Risk Factors for Spider Veins

Are you worried about spider veins or already struggling with the spidery red, blue, or purple lines on your legs, ankles, feet, or other parts of your body? Spider veins can make it difficult to let your skin shine during the warm summer months here in California. 

If you want to say goodbye to spider veins, our team at Medweight, Lasers & Wellness Centers can help. Our providers offer specialized spider vein treatment for the men and women of Irvine, California. We also want to help you prevent the development or recurrence of spider veins when possible. 

We’ve put together this guide to let you know about six risk factors for spider veins and what you can do if you see this unwelcome red, blue, or purple veins appear.

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are red, purple, or blue veins that spread like the branches of trees on your skin. They most frequently appear on the face, legs, ankles, and feet, but they can pop up almost anywhere. 

These unsightly veins result when the tiny one-way valves that allow blood to flow stop functioning. When a valve no longer works, your blood will pool and make a usually invisible vein visible. 

Unlike varicose veins, which increase your risk of developing blood clots, spider veins aren’t a threat to your health. However, their unsightly appearance can negatively impact your self-confidence and quality of life.    

The top six risk factors for developing spider veins

The exact reason some people develop spider veins while others don’t isn’t understood well by the medical community. However, there are conditions and factors associated with an increased risk of developing spider veins. They include:

1. Getting older

As you get older, your veins age along with you. Over time, the valves and walls of your veins weaken, making it more likely for spider veins to develop, especially after age 40.

2. They run in your family

Scientists still don’t completely understand why heredity plays a role, but if your close family members have spider veins or weak blood vessels, you’re more likely to develop them at some point as well. 

3. Hormonal changes

The hormone estrogen can weaken the valves in your veins. Furthermore, puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and taking hormones can increase your risk for developing spider veins. The link between hormones and spider veins is one reason why women are at a higher risk of developing the condition than men.  

4. Leading a sedentary lifestyle

Having a job where you sit or stand in one position for long periods, not exercising, and generally leading a sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of developing spider veins. The veins in your legs have to work harder to circulate blood back to your heart when you don’t move, and the chance of damage increases. 

5. Exposure to sunlight

Because the sun’s rays break down collagen and blood vessels beneath the surface of your skin, sun exposure can cause spider veins to appear on your nose and cheek, especially if you have light-colored skin. 

6. Being overweight or obese

Weighing more than you should can add pressure to your lower body and compress your veins. This can add extra strain to the walls and valves of your veins, increasing your risk of developing spider veins.     

What are the treatment options if I already have spider veins?

If you’re already struggling with spider veins, the specialists at Medweight, Lasers & Wellness Centers can help. Our team offers two treatment options to help you say goodbye to unsightly spider veins. 


Sclerotherapy involves injecting a medicated solution directly into the troublesome veins. The needle is extremely small and nearly painless since spider veins are located very close to the surface of the skin. 

The solution causes the veins to shrink and collapse, and your body processes them as waste and naturally eliminates them from your body in about 4-8 weeks. Sclerotherapy takes 15-60 minutes depending on the size of the treatment area, and most patients return to their normal routine right away. 

Laser therapy

Laser therapy uses targeted wavelengths to treat spider veins. As the veins absorb the laser energy, the heat causes them to break down. Your body then absorbs the collapsed veins and eliminates them naturally. 

Your provider at MedWeight, Lasers & Wellness Centers will provide you with instructions to follow after your treatment, which may include avoiding direct exposure to sunlight for a time. Otherwise, most patients go back to their normal routines without any downtime. 

For more information about spider veins and the different treatment options that exist, book an appointment over the phone with MedWeight, Lasers & Wellness Centers today.

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