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Circulation and Spider Veins : Are spider veins a sign of poor circulation?

Home > Circulation and Spider Veins : Are spider veins a sign of poor circulation?

    Updated on Oct 18, 2022 by Dr. Jonathan Arad (Vein Doctor) of Vein Care Center

    Thin blue, purple, or red veins on your legs, feet, or face could be spider veins resulting from several conditions, including pregnancy, advancing age, and lifestyle changes. They could also be a sign of some underlying medical problem such as poor circulation or chronic venous insufficiency and turn serious if they are not addressed timely. Schedule an appointment with a vein specialist doctor to have your spider-web-like or bulging veins investigated and treated timely to avoid any complications. Dr. Jonathan Arad, a leading doctor for veins at the Vein Care Center offers an interventional and multidisciplinary approach to improve your circulation and get rid of spider veins to live a better quality of life.

    What Are Spider Veins?

    Spider veins are recognized as a web of fine, pen line spider-web-like veins, less than 1 mm in diameter on the face or legs. As these veins are just under the surface of the skin, their reddish or bluish color indicates their presence.

    Spider veins are usually harmless. Their thin and bumpy appearance is caused by blood that does not flow smoothly through the vessels and forces the veins to become prominent.

    What Causes Spider Veins?

    When the pressure inside the veins increases, due to any circulation problem, it can result in spider veins. Advancing age and hereditary factors are also considered major causes.

    Certain risk factors can increase your risk of developing spider veins. They include:

    • Pregnancy
    • Obesity
    • Family history of spider veins
    • Hormonal changes
    • Injury to leg or veins
    • Excessive exposure to sunlight
    • Standing on your feet for a long time puts pressure on the veins

    Malfunctioning valves in feeder’s veins may be the underlying cause behind spider veins.

    Blood Circulation and Spider Veins

    Spider veins and circulation are related. When the blood does not move efficiently in the right direction, blue and red lines begin to form underneath the skin surface. If this condition fails to improve, you will notice a network of spider-web-like veins developing and expanding on your legs and arms.

    Other reasons for poor circulation can be a weakness, inflammation of the veins, also known as phlebitis, or a congenital abnormality in the veins.

    Do Spider Veins Result from Poor Blood Circulation?

    Vein specialists believe poor blood circulation to be a primary reason for spider veins. Veins collect the blood from the body and bring it back to the heart for recycling and re-oxygenating. As veins work against gravity, they can develop certain venous conditions resulting from poor blood circulation.

    When the valves in the veins fail to function normally, blood begins to flow backward or reflux, instead of going upwards towards the heart. As a result, the blood begins to pool in the veins and lead to non-functional, dead-end veins that appear underneath the skin as spider veins.
    Poor Blood Circulation

    Signs and Symptoms of Spider Veins

    Spider veins are known by their network of thin and bluish, reddish-colored veins with a spidery appearance.

    Other symptoms include:

    • Swelling from under the knees
    • Swelling in the ankles and feet
    • Pain and heaviness in the legs
    • Discoloration of the skin
    • Warm and tender legs in case of a blood clot

    Veins that are most commonly affected are behind the knees, but spider veins can also occur in the legs and other parts of the body.

    Spider veins are not a major health threat, but highly prominent and discolored veins can make you feel subconscious. They can also lead to other problems if they are left untreated.

    When to Seek Medical Help

    Circulation problems should not be taken lightly as they can lead to life-threatening issues if they are not treated timely. Seek a vein doctor immediately if your symptoms worsen and you experience the following:

    • Itching or tingling around the affected vein
    • Burning and throbbing around the veins
    • Internal bleeding surrounding the veins
    • Pains that worsens if you stand or sit for a long time
    • Ulcers

    Spider vein symptoms are a mild form of varicose veins. The condition can vary from cosmetic to symptomatic, leading to discomfort and affecting your quality of life.

    Spider veins are easy to diagnose with their patterns on your legs, feet, or other affected areas. The doctor will check for swelling, tender spots, ulcers, and changes in skin color to determine if these symptoms are related to poor circulation. Spider veins do not need treatment unless they lead to further complications or result from some critical health condition. Soreness, pain, and muscle fatigue, or cramping can also be alleviated with at-home remedies that help in managing mild to moderate symptoms.

    Do not let spider veins become painful or cause uneasiness as they can affect your life and overall health. Schedule an appointment with a vein expert doctor to determine if your condition results from poor circulation and how it can be treated. Relying on the most advanced diagnostic equipment and personalized treatment approach, Dr. Jonathan Arad offers the best solutions that help to get rid of spider veins and get your legs back in shape within a short time.

    Dr. Jonathan Arad has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.