What are Spider Veins?

As we look in the mirror, some of us might notice that we have some fine red crooked lines under the skin which we find at the sides of our nose. Or perhaps you notice some small bluish lines that appear in your legs. You just wish those were not there, but despite rubbing your eyes, you see that they are real, they are there, you hope that they can be inconspicuous but it is just an awful sight if someone might see it closeley. These things are actually your small, thin veins that lie close to the surface of the skin. These unsightly veins are called spider veins.
Spider veins or sunburst varicosities are given the name in the medical world as telangiectasias. Although these super-fine veins are connected with the larger venous system, they are not an insignificant part of it.

There are several factors contribute to the rise of spider veins. This include the most prevalent which is heredity, pregnancy and other events that cause hormonal shifts, weight gain, occupations or activities that require prolonged sitting or standing, and the use of some drugs.

Telangiectasias most of the time take on one of three basic patterns. They may appear in a true spider shape with a group of veins radiating outward from a dark central point; they may be arborizing and will resemble tiny branch-like shapes; or they may be simple linear and appear as thin separate lines. Linear spider veins are commonly seen on the inner knee, whereas the arborizing pattern often appears on the outer thigh in a sunburst or cartwheel distribution.

Do not confuse spider veins with varicose veins. Varicose veins are much bigger and obvious. They are more than a 0.25 centimeters in diameter, darker in color and they swell. What’s more is that varicose veins are sometimes painful and are associated with certain types of circulatory disorders. Sclerotherapy can be used to treat both spider vains and varicose veins. But sometimes, depending on the extent of varicose veins, surgery may be the best option.

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