Unsightly Leg Veins
Unsightly Leg Veins have two types: Spider Veins and Varicose Veins.
Spider Veins are the small, thin, super-fine veins lying close to the skin surface that is also known as telangiectasias or sunburst varicosities. Spider Veins can be caused by activities requiring prolonged sitting or standing, the use of certain medicines, pregnancy or other things causing hormonal shifts and/or weight gains. Spider Veins have three basic patterns. One, it can have veins radiating outward from a dark central point resembling a true spider. Two, the veins can take branch-like shapes going outwards resembling trees. And three, the veins can be linear or in the form of thin, separate lines usually found on the inner knee. The first two patterns are usually found in the outer thigh area.
Varicose Veins are the larger veins usually having a diameter of more than a quarter inch, observed to have a darker purple or blue color than the rest of the skin. Varicose Veins have the tendency to bulge, can cause pain and are typically related to more serious vein disorders.
What are Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?
When blood is pumped, veins become one-way valves preventing the blood from flowing backwards. When these veins become weak, some of the blood can go back and just stay there. This condition will cause the veins to be abnormally enlarged, creating Spider Veins or Varicose Veins.
Spider Veins are small, thin, super-fine veins lying close to the skin surface. These may resemble a tree branch or spider web and are usually found on the legs or the face, covering either a very small or very large part of the skin. While Varicose Veins are the larger veins that have a darker purple or blue color and also have the tendency to look like cords, twisted and bulging.
How common are unsightly leg veins?
It is reported that about 60% of American women and men are suffering from some form of vein disorder, but women are more affected, showing an estimated 41% suffering from unsightly leg veins before they hit age 50.
What causes Spider and Varicose veins?
There is no one cause for unsightly leg veins, but there are several factors that can be considered like heredity or having weak vein valves, hormones and other things causing hormonal shifts like pregnancy and menopause, even the intake of birth control pills can cause women to develop unsightly leg veins. Some other factors that may cause unsightly leg veins include aging, obesity, leg injuries and prolonged sitting or standing, while spider veins found on the face may be because of sun exposure.
Why do Spider and Varicose Veins usually appear in the legs?
Veins in the legs have a harder time carrying blood back to the heart. This difficulty is due to pressure and force of gravity, making these one-way valves clogged or bulged causing the legs to be the primary location for Spider Veins and Varicose Veins.
Are they painful or dangerous?
Varicose Veins are usually conditions potentially causing pain and are typically related to more serious vein disorders. They may cause swelling, throbbing, itching or cramping mostly in the leg area. Sometimes both Spider Veins and Varicose Veins cause serious problems and would require medical treatment. They may cause severe clogging of blood in the veins preventing it to return to the heart called venous insufficiency, which can cause other problems like a deep-vein thrombosis or blood clot or a severe bleeding infection. Also, Varicose Veins may result in sores or skin ulcers because the skin tissue around it might not receive enough nourishment.