Causes of Spider Veins

Spider veins refer to small blood vessels located near the surface of the skin and mucous membranes. The blood vessels become dilated and can easily be seen through the skin. The veins usually have a red or purple appearance and look like spider webs or tree branches. On the legs, spider veins usually form in the thigh area, around the knees, and near the ankles. Spider veins are quite commonly found on the nose, cheeks, and chin as well. The scientific term for spider veins is telangiectasias. Although there is not one definitive cause, there are several lifestyle factors that are linked to the development of spider veins.

  1. Genetics: People who have a family history of spider veins are more likely to develop them.

  2. Gender: Spider veins are more common in women than men.

  3. Age: The risk of developing spider veins increases with age, as vein walls become less elastic and more prone to failure.

  4. Pregnancy: The added weight and strain of pregnancy on the circulatory system raises the chance of developing spider veins.

  5. Lifestyles: Spider veins are more commonly found in individuals who have restricted mobility or live very inactive lives. Working or participating in professions and activities that require sitting or standing for long periods of time can also increase the risk of spider veins.

Sometimes spider veins form on the face and trunk. In these cases the development of the spider veins is not related to age, weight and lifestyle. Skin damage due to acne rosacea, sun or cold, trauma from injury or surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, carcinoid syndrome, CREST syndrome, and chronic use of corticosteroids applied topically can contribute to the development of spider veins in areas other than the legs.