Certain health conditions tend to affect women more than men, whether it is breast cancer, osteoarthritis, or menopause. Does this hold true for varicose veins as well? According to research—yes; you can add spider and varicose veins to the list.
If you are a woman and suffer from varicose veins, you are far from alone. Roughly 25 million men and women in the United States are affected by varicose veins. According to the Office on Women’s Health, twice as many women as men are affected by varicose veins.
For many women, these twisted, bulging veins can be seen and felt under the skin and are more of a cosmetic concern than a health one. For others, these veins affect their quality of life and, if left untreated, can lead to more serious complications. Incidentally, less harmful spider veins and the potential for spider vein treatment may affect more than half of women.
How to Know If You Have Spider or Varicose Veins
The differences between varicose and spider veins are usually obvious. Varicose veins are enlarged, and you will typically experience symptoms such as pain, discomfort, and heaviness in the legs. These symptoms especially worsen after long periods of standing or walking and towards the end of the day.
Other symptoms include:
- Restless legs
In contrast, spider veins are smaller, superficial veins on the outer layer of the skin that appear like blue and purple web lines on the legs. They can be an indication of a deeper issue, but spider vein treatment is far less invasive since these veins rarely cause issues.
Your doctor can use sclerotherapy for spider vein treatment to scar and close these veins, which tend to fade after a few weeks.
Varicose Veins Tend To Run In the Family
Hereditary factors are a primary cause of any vein disease. So if mom, dad, and grandma all have varicose, you are predisposed to getting them as well. Statistics show that roughly half of all varicose vein patients have a family history.
But it’s important to realize that several other factors play a major role in the formation of both varicose and spider veins, especially in women. Statistically, spider and varicose veins occur most frequently in women and individuals that have occupations that require them to stand or sit for long periods of time.
In general, anything that puts pressure on the circulatory system increases the chance of lower extremity venous insufficiency.
Common factors other than family history include:
- Age – As women age, their veins don’t work as well. Varicose veins commonly develop between the ages of 30 and 70.
- Pregnancy – Multiple pregnancies and hormonal changes increase blood volume and stress on vein walls and valves.
- Birth control pills – The use of birth control pills, estrogen, and progesterone can all cause varicose and spider veins to form.
- Overweight – Obesity increases pressure on your veins and can also hinder venous return from the legs.
- Sedentary lifestyle – Being sedentary and not exercising enough inhibits blood circulation, causing vein problems.
- Trauma/injury – Certain injuries, surgeries, or severe trauma to your legs could permanently damage your veins.
Ways You Can Reduce Your Risk
A few ways you can reduce or prevent vein problems include:
- Get more exercise
- Choose healthier eating habits
- Quit smoking
- Avoid standing or sitting for too long
- Avoid high heels and tight clothing
Schedule an Appointment with Precision VIR to Learn More
Precision VIR has long been a leader in performing leading-edge procedures to treat vein disease such as varicose veins, as well as spider vein treatment, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), and Peripheral Arterial/Venous Disease (PAD/PVP)—all the while providing compassionate patient care. All physicians at Precision VIR are Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologists with additional Fellowship training in Vascular and Interventional Radiology.
If you need spider vein treatment, or you have questions on how to avoid the onset of varicose veins and more invasive treatment options, the experts at Precision VIR will recommend an individualized plan to help you get the best results.
For a consultation with one of our doctors, please contact us at 214-382-3200 or complete the form below.
Precision VIR serves the DFW area including Dallas, Fort Worth, Carrollton, Richardson, Garland, Mesquite, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Arlington, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Lewisville and all of North Texas.
This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider.