Why Am I Getting Spider Veins On My Legs? Causes & Risk Factors For Spider Veins

Why am I getting spider veins on my legs?

Spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, are small, dilated blood vessels that resemble spider webs and often occur on the legs, face, and chest. They are usually not harmful and do not cause symptoms, but some people may choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. In some cases, however, spider veins can be symptomatic of chronic venous insufficiency, a dangerous medical condition caused by collapsed vein valves.

If you have been noticing an increase in spider veins on your legs, you may wonder about their cause and if you can do anything to prevent their appearance. In this article, we will explore the root cause of spider veins, why they appear on the legs, and discuss the various risk factors that may increase your risk of spider veins and varicose veins.

Chronic venous insufficiency: the root cause of spider veins

Spider veins are often a sign of an underlying condition called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). This condition occurs when the veins in your legs do not properly pump blood back to your heart, causing blood to pool in the veins and increase pressure. Over time, this increased pressure can damage the walls of the veins, leading to the development of spider veins.

CVI is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide and is often caused by a combination of factors, including age, genetics, and lifestyle.

Gravity: the reason spider veins occur mostly on the legs

Spider veins are most commonly found on the legs because of the effects of gravity. When you stand or walk, the blood in your veins must work against gravity to flow upwards toward your heart. This can be especially difficult for people with CVI, as the damaged veins may not be able to pump blood efficiently. As a result, blood may pool in the veins, leading to an increase in pressure and the development of spider veins.

Why am I getting spider veins on my legs? What are the risk factors for spider veins? We describe the causes and risk factors for spider veins in New York.

What are the risk factors for spider veins?

Several factors may increase your risk of developing spider veins, including:

  • Age: As you age, the valves in your veins may weaken, making it harder for blood to flow back to your heart. This can lead to CVI and the development of spider veins.
  • Genetics: If you have a family history of spider veins or CVI, you may have a higher risk.
  • Hormonal changes: Pregnancy, menopause, and certain hormonal medications may increase your risk of developing spider veins.
  • Lifestyle factors: Standing or sitting for long periods, carrying extra weight, and being inactive can all contribute to developing spider veins.
  • Trauma: Injuries or surgery that damage the veins in your legs may increase your risk of developing spider veins.
  • Occupation: Certain occupations that involve long periods of sitting or standing still, such as nursing, teaching, and desk jobs, can increase your risk of spider veins. If you sit or stand still for long periods, blood flows backward and accumulates in the leg veins.

Do I have spider veins or varicose veins?

Spider veins and varicose veins are both types of dilated blood vessels that can occur on the legs, but they have some key differences in appearance.

Spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, are small, thin veins that resemble spider webs and are typically blue or purple. They are usually less than a millimeter in diameter and are found close to the skin’s surface. Spider veins are often found on the legs, face, and chest and are usually not harmful, though they can be symptomatic of underlying vein disease.

Varicose veins, on the other hand, are larger, swollen veins, typically blue or dark purple. They are more than a few millimeters in diameter and are often raised or bulging. Varicose veins are found on the legs and are caused by poor blood flow. They can be painful and cause aching, swelling, and cramping in the legs.

While spider veins are usually a cosmetic concern, varicose veins can be more serious and may require treatment to prevent complications, such as blood clots, skin ulcers, and bleeding. If you are unsure whether you have spider veins or varicose veins, consult a vein doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


Experiencing symptoms of vein disease? Book an appointment with one of the our Vein Specialists in New York.

Your information is encrypted and secure. By registering you confirm that you accept Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Is Vicks good for varicose veins?

There is no scientific evidence to support Vicks VapoRub for treating varicose veins. Varicose veins are dilated blood vessels that occur when the blood flow in the veins is impaired, leading to swelling and a rope-like appearance. They can be caused by various factors, including genetics, pregnancy, and lifestyle factors.

While some people may claim that Vicks VapoRub can help to reduce the appearance of varicose veins, there is no reliable scientific evidence to support these claims. Vicks VapoRub is a topical ointment used to relieve muscle and joint pain, congestion, and cough. It is not intended to be used as a treatment for varicose veins or any other medical condition.

If you are concerned about the appearance or health of your varicose veins, please consult a vein doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Treatment options for varicose veins may include lifestyle changes, such as exercising and wearing compression stockings, and medical procedures, such as sclerotherapy or laser ablation. Do not use Vicks VapoRub or other home remedies as a substitute for proper medical care.

New York Vein Treatment is a group of state-of-the-art medical centers for vein treatment in New York. Our medical centers specialize in cutting-edge, minimally invasive spider vein and varicose vein treatments, including radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser ablation, VenaSeal, sclerotherapy, and ambulatory phlebectomy. Our medical teams are led by board-certified vein doctors who identify the root cause of your vein problems and curate a personalized treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms.

You can find our offices in Midtown Manhattan, close to the Empire State Building or the Financial District. Please schedule an appointment at your nearest medical center for vein treatment in New York.




Veins Specialist NYC

He leads the team of vein doctors offering the highest level of care at our Spider and Varicose Vein Treatment Center NYC.



Veins Specialists NYC

She is an expert in Spider Vein and Varicose Vein Treatment based in New York City.



Veins Specialists NYC

Highly sought after for his expertise and excellent outcomes in Vein Treatments in Manhattan.



Veins Specialists NYC

She has extensive experience with vein performing procedures based on New York City.


Dr. Caroline Novak

Veins Specialists NYC

She is an Internal Medicine and Vein Disease specialist with experience in minimally invasive treatments at our Long Island clinic.


Learn more about our clinics, doctors and procedures!

YouTube video

Contact us


Call us

Speak instantly with one of our team members; they will answer any questions you may have regarding insurance coverage, booking an appointment and our vein treatment locations. (646) 859-1833


Book online

Visit our Book Appointment page and instantly request an appointment at the New York vein center near you. We offer Free Insurance Verification before your appointment.


Get directions

Learn how to easily get to the New York vein center.

Qualities of the Best Vein Center Near Me

Qualities of the Best Vein Center Near Me

Qualities of the Best Vein Center Near MeIf you're searching for a vein center near you, it's essential to find one that offers high-quality care, experienced professionals, and a range of effective treatment options. When it comes to diagnosing and treating vein...

read more