Spider veins or telengiectasias are small, dilated blood vessels that may appear on the face, but most frequently develop on the legs. The lesions generally measure between 0.5 and 1 millimeter in diameter and are often seen on the thighs, below the knee or around the ankle.
Spider Vein Causes
The unattractive veins occur more frequently in leg areas due to the combination of pressure from increased body weight, the force of gravity and the stress of transporting blood from the legs up to the heart. During pregnancy, blood volume increases which also adds to venous pressure and causes vein valve malfunction, which allows vein engorgement. The hormones produced and circulated during pregnancy also weaken vein walls. As the pregnancy advances and the uterus expands, the pressure causes more venous stress. While the condition often improves in the first months after delivering the baby, each additional pregnancy may create more spider or varicose veins.
* Avoid sitting or standing in one position for extended periods of time. Take breaks, change position often or perhaps walk around.
* Resist the urge to cross your legs while sitting. This action hinders circulation.
* Elevate feet and legs when possible.
* With a physician’s approval, exercise as tolerated.
* Avoid wearing knee-high or other types of stockings that compress small areas of the leg.
* Wear compression hose or maternity support hose as prescribed.
* Sleep on the left side to alleviate pressure on the major vessels that carry blood to the heart.
Spider Vein Symptoms
Spider veins often appear red to purple in color, and form a spider-like configuration of varying sizes just beneath the skin. Though unsightly, the veins typically cause no other symptoms. However, certain changes warrant consulting with a physician.
* A dull ache develops in the affected leg
* The vein swells, hardens or becomes warm or tender to touch
* The skin on top of and around the vein reddens
* The vein begins bleeding
* A rash or sores develop on the affected leg or in the ankle area
* The skin on the ankle and calf of the affected leg thickens and changes color
* Symptoms interfere with normal daily activities
If spider veins begin appearing, but do not present any other symptoms, physicians may recommend a number of simple solutions. When the varicosities create more serious symptoms, medical treatment may become necessary. Physicians perform a variety of treatments designed to improve overall appearance, relieve any symptoms and prevent complications that may arise.