Spider veins are formed by the dilation of a small group of blood vessels located close to the surface of the skin. Although they can appear anywhere on the body, spider veins are most commonly found on the face and legs.
They usually pose no health hazard but may produce a dull aching in the legs after prolonged standing and indicate more severe venous disease. The exact cause of spider veins is unknown, although the primary factors that contribute to spider veins are believed to include:
- Heredity defects
- Sun damage
- Hormonal influences
More than 40 percent of women have some form of varicose vein condition including spider veins, with an increased incidence of venous disease as one gets older, so that up to 80 percent of women have some form of venous disease by age 80. Slightly more women than men have varicose and spider veins.
Treatments include exercise such as walking or cycling, weight loss, compression stockings, and avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time.