Also called telangiectasia, spider veins are small discolored veins near the surface of the skin. The causes of these abnormalities tend to be mainly inherited genetic traits. Other factors that can influence spider veins include pregnancy, being overweight, age and gender (females are about four times more likely than males to have spider veins). Ranging from bluish to red in appearance, they often appear in a “spider’s web” pattern.
Veins are the structures that carry blood back to the heart after they have distributed oxygen and nutrients to the body; their counterparts are arteries which carry blood away from the heart. In a normal vein, valves prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction. When these venous valves don’t work properly, blood vessels can’t prevent backward flowing blood which can cause veins to bulge and become discolored. Spider veins generally don’t hurt like varicose veins.
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