Veins are the blood vessels that carry blood back to your heart. Some of these veins are deep inside the muscle, some are superficial lying just beneath the skin, and the rest connect the deep veins to the superficial veins. Veins contain one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction when someone is standing. When sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time, blood can pool in the veins of your legs, increasing the pressure within them. Overtime this stretching can weaken the walls of the veins and damage the valves. When this happens, blood backs up in the legs due to faulty valves and varicose veins result. They are visible through the skin as bulging, bluish twisted veins. Spider veins are mild, small varicose veins and look like a small collection or red, blue, or purple lines under the skin.
Why Do I Have Spider and Varicose Veins?
There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing spider or varicose veins:
- Family history of varicose veins
- Lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time
- Female gender
- Age 30-70
- History of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)