Spider veins are a common occurrence among women and men as they age. Dark-colored veins creeping up your legs are a sight no one wants to see. While they are usually a cosmetic issue alone and pose little health risk, some cases can produce leg discomfort including cramping and swelling.
Spider veins are smaller veins that are visible under the surface of the skin. Most cases appear as red, blue, or purple tangles of veins that look like tree branches or spider webs. Spider veins are a result of the weakening of the valves and vein walls that control blood flow.
Because spider veins are a widely shared cosmetic complaint, there are many rumors surrounding how people get them and how to get rid of them. We’ve attempted to dispel some of the common myths that people believe about spider veins below.
Common Myths about Spider Veins:
Only women can get spider veins.
While women are easily the majority of sufferers of spider veins, men can get them as well. They are more common for women in the thighs, back of the calves, and other areas on the leg, while men are more likely to see spider veins on the face near the nose.
Spider veins only occur in older people.
Age is a factor in whether a person will get spider veins. However, not all sufferers of spider veins are older. During pregnancy the amount of blood in the female body increases enormously, which can strain the veins and increase the likelihood for spider veins. Therefore, even younger women can develop spider veins. Obesity, sun exposure in fair-skinned individuals, and hormones can all influence your chance of developing spider veins as well.
Crossing your legs can cause spider veins.
While crossing your legs can put extra strain on your veins, it is not a direct cause of spider veins. Many people cross their legs and never get spider veins.
Tanning can reduce the appearance of spider veins.
Tanning may decrease the visibility of spider veins for a short period, but does not offer a long-term solution. In fact, sun exposure can be one of the causes of spider veins, especially on the face. Tanning also exposes the skin to ultraviolet rays, which cause other skin conditions like wrinkles, sun spots, and skin cancer.
Vitamin supplements and creams can help treat spider veins.
Because spider veins are a result of a backup of blood in weak or damaged valves, topical creams and vitamin supplement do not broach the cause. While they may slightly mask the appearance, they do not solve the main issue or prevent the spider veins from coming back.
Spider veins cannot be prevented.
Some individuals will get spider veins no matter how many preventative steps they take. However, in order to minimize your chance of self-imposed spider veins, you can maintain a healthy weight and avoid unprotected sun exposure.
Spider vein treatments require surgery.
New technologies like the eMax™ system combine Bi-Polar Radio Frequency with high-powered Diode LASER to make invasive surgeries a thing of the past. The laser, paired with the radio waves, decreases the appearance of spider veins and requires little to no downtime. One of our favorite hair removal lasers can also treat unsightly spider veins on the face and legs. Coined as Candela’s most versatile laser, our GentleMAX™ laser is even safe for dark skin tones.
AYA Medical Spa offers the eMax™ and Candela GentleMAX™ laser systems. If you currently suffer from spider veins, contact us to schedule a consultation and determine what steps you can take to minimize their appearance.