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George M. Hariz, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Spider Veins

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are smaller. They are often red or blue and are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. They can look like tree branches or spider webs. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face. They can cover either a very small or very large area of skin.

Causes of Spider Veins

The primary factors contributing to their development include backup of blood, heredity, pregnancy, hormones, weight gain, and prolonged standing or sitting and exposure to the sun. Spider veins typically occur more frequently in women.

Symptoms

Some symptoms associated with spider veins can include pronounced red, blue, or purple veins, aching, itching, or burning. Spider veins are usually harmless, though they can cause significant discomfort, particularly in the legs after prolonged standing. Although spider veins do not usually pose health risks, they are generally felt to be unsightly, and can cause feelings of self-consciousness. Treating these veins early can prevent worsening symptoms.
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