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About Leg Veins

In order to understand the treatments available, it’s important to first understand the underlying issues that cause spider veins and varicose veins.

How Leg Veins Work

Veins carry blood from your body parts to your heart. They have one-way valves that make the blood flow toward the heart, which means blood from your legs travels upward. Weak veins or improperly functioning valves allow blood to flow backward, which can result in pooling and pressure, causing large, painful, and twisted varicose veins. Heredity and shifts in hormones can cause spider veins, which are small webs of capillaries appearing on your legs. Spider veins can also appear on feet, face, and hands.

It’s also important to understand that varicose veins and spider veins are not the same and should not be treated as such. Varicose veins can cause serious health problems, while spider veins are generally more of a cosmetic concern.

Varicose Veins

Risk Factors

Both men and women can suffer from varicose veins. They may be caused, or the condition exacerbated, by a variety of factors such as:

  • Heredity
  • Hormones (puberty, pregnancy)
  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Leg trauma


Bulging leg veins are the most obvious sign, but not all varicose veins are visible. Other symptoms include discomfort or pain, swelling, aching, cramping, and restlessness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend having a leg evaluation by a vein professional.

By not treating varicose veins, patients open themselves up to more serious, even life threatening, medical conditions. Learn more about treating varicose veins by visiting our FAQs page.

Spider Veins

Reduce Your Risk

Although some risk factors, like family history and hormonal changes, cannot be prevented, there are several ways to reduce your risk of developing spider veins:

  • Wear sunscreen (especially on your face)
  • Exercise regularly to improve circulation
  • Elevate your legs, when possible, to reduce pressure on the veins and skin
  • Invest in good quality, low-heeled footwear

Vein Treatment

At the Laser Vein Institute, we offer VenaCure EVLT treatment for varicose veins, as well as Sclerotherapy for spider and varicose veins. If you have questions about treatment or would like to have an evaluation, please contact us.