What Causes Varicose & Spider Veins?

What Causes Varicose & Spider Veins?

Varicose and spider veins are two common venous conditions that tend to develop as our bodies age. While these vascular issues are usually fairly harmless, they can become unsightly and even painful if left unmanaged. Varicose veins are large, bulky and ropelike and are most commonly found in the legs. On the other hand, spider veins are thin and weblike, usually forming in the legs but can be found on many other areas of the body as well.

So, why do varicose and spider veins form? The circulatory system is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body to deliver the nutrients and oxygen that your organs need to function. Once the delivery has been made, your veins will carry the blood back to the heart to receive more nutrients for dispersion. When blood is forced to flow upward against the force of gravity, as it does in the legs, the one-way valves in your veins can malfunction and cause backflow. This can cause blood to pool, veins to swell and varicose or spider veins to form.

Are more people susceptible to venous conditions than others? From genetics to lifestyle choices, there are a wide variety offactors that can compromise the health of your circulatory system. Here are a few of the most common ones that you should be aware of:

  • Family History: Studies have shown that the development of varicose or spider veins is often hereditary, so it’s important to know your family’s vascular history.
  • Age: Like many other body systems, your veins tend to weaken over time, making you more susceptible to have vein complications as you get older.
  • Gender: While women are more likely to develop spider or varicose veins in their lifetime, men can often develop them as well. However, hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and menopause boost the risk factor for women greatly.
  • Obesity: Those who are overweight are more likely to have poor circulation. The heavier you are, the more strain and stress will be put on your veins, making them more likely to become damaged, bulged or burst.
  • Physical Activity: Exercising regularly can help keep your blood flowing strong, minimizing the opportunities for spider or varicose veins to form. On the contrary, sitting or standing for a long time, especially with legs crossed or bent, can be detrimental.
  • Occupation: Since staying active can have such a profound impact on your vascular health, working jobs where physical activity is lacking can be risky. Some of the most common professions where vein health is at risk are teaching, nursing and hair styling.

If you or a loved one is suffering from varicose or spider veins and is seeking treatment, you’re in luck!Island Vein Specialists offers a wide assortment of corrective vein procedures for patients on Long Island and in the surrounding areas.