Spider veins are enlarged capillaries that are usually web-like, red or purple lines on the skin.
Causes and Risk Factors
The cause of spider veins is uncertain, but they are believed to be hereditary or due to hormones. Older adults, especially women, are more likely to have spider veins. Localized trauma or injury has also been known to cause spider veins.
A doctor will be able to diagnose spider veins with a physical examination of the skin.
Treatment and Prevention
Compression hose are commonly used to prevent spider veins and decrease extension of existing spider veins. However, intervention is needed to eliminate spider veins that have already developed. Sclerotherapy is a technique in which a saline solution is injected into the vein, causing it to cave in. This normally takes several treatments and compression stockings are worn afterwards to prevent re-opening of the vessels.