Are Spider Veins Hereditary?

Three Generations Laughing

Spider veins are blue, red, or purple thin lines that are visible just below the surface of the skin. Typically branching across areas on the face or legs, they get their name from the fact that they often resemble spider webs. While not typically painful or harmful to your overall health, they are often a cause of embarrassment. People with spider veins generally feel uncomfortable wearing shorts, skirts, swimsuits, and other revealing apparel. As a result, they seek treatment at Advanced Vein Therapy for cosmetic reasons. Spider veins can be attributed to hereditary factors, but other causes can also be behind this condition. 

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, yet are smaller. They are often referred to as ‘thread veins’ due to their small, thin appearance. The same as with varicose veins, spider veins occur when blood fails to flow properly. When the valves within the veins become weakened or damaged, rather than moving through towards other areas of the body, the blood begins to pool inside the vein. As a result, the vein itself takes on a deeper color and begins to swell, resulting in the appearance of spider veins. In cases involving varicose veins, the vein is likely to create raised ridges and bulges from the skin. Spider veins typically appear just below the surface. 

Common on the legs, the increased pressure can cause tiny blood vessels to burst. While this may sound serious, it does not have any significant impact on your health, but it can cause you to be increasingly self-conscious about your appearance. Like varicose veins, spider veins are attributed to a condition known as venous insufficiency. It can occur as a result of hereditary factors or due to other common causes. 

What Causes Spider Veins?

Venous insufficiency, or problems within the veins that restrict blood flow, is what ultimately causes spider veins. The reasons you may have developed this condition can vary, but heredity often plays a major factor. If you have a family history of spider veins or varicose veins, it increases your odds of getting them as well. In fact, studies show that 90 percent of patients with spider veins have a family member who was also afflicted. However, other factors can put you at an increased risk. These include:

  • Gender: Women are typically more likely to suffer from venous insufficiency, resulting in spider veins;
  • Pregnancy: The extra weight you carry during pregnancy, the weight of the baby, and the pushing during labor all make spider veins more likely to appear;
  • Age: Veins weaken as you get older and you experience changes in your hormone levels, both of which can make spider veins more likely to appear;
  • Weight: Any amount of weight gain puts additional pressure on your legs, increasing your spider vein risks;
  • Your job: Standing or sitting for long periods cause the veins to have to work harder at keeping blood flowing and increases the chances of spider veins;
  • Frequent illnesses: Coughing, sneezing, or vomiting associated with frequent colds, the flu, or respiratory infections can contribute to bursting of blood vessels on your face. 

Another common culprit of spider veins is sun exposure. Ultraviolet light causes extensive damage to the skin and can cause broken blood vessels, increasing the appearance of spider veins. 

How Can I Get Rid of Spider Veins?

Spider veins do not cause physical symptoms, nor are they harmful to your health. They can, however, dramatically impact your appearance and how you feel about yourself. At Advanced Vein Therapy, we offer several safe, minimally invasive, and highly effective treatments to eliminate spider veins primarily,

  • Sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a sterile, foamy solution into the affected vein to close and seal it;

This procedure is performed directly in our office with minimal discomfort or downtime after. You can generally return to work or other activities immediately after your procedure. 

Schedule a Consultation With Advanced Vein Therapy Today

As a leading provider of varicose vein and spider vein treatment in the Boise area, you can trust Advanced Vein Therapy to help safely and effectively eliminate your spider veins.  Call or contact Advanced Vein Therapy online and request an initial consultation to discuss your options today.