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What Causes Varicose Veins: Myths and Facts

Posted on June 28, 2023

Are you wondering what causes varicose veins? Before we get to the answer, please remember. If you have dark, visible veins, it's very important to seek treatment and avoid spider vein effects. Have you already noticed small spider veins on your legs or face? They are often in a spider web pattern and can be blue, red, or purple. Knowing the causes may help you make lifestyle changes or proceed with the best treatment option.

Spider veinsWhat Causes Varicose Veins?

There are many factors that can increase your chance of developing spider or varicose veins. They can be a symptom of poor circulation or from varicose veins, and are probably a result of genetics. Other reasons patients have an increased chance of getting spider veins include:

  • Being a woman. Women are twice as likely as men to get spider and varicose veins.
  • Diet. While women have a higher risk for vein disease, men who are following a vegetarian diet have an increased varicose vein risk, according to a new study.
  • Having a family history. There may be a genetic component to this condition. So if your parent or grandparent has varicose veins, your risk may also be higher.
  • Being on your feet all day. Standing or sitting all day long can be a risk factor.
  • Being pregnant. Extra hormones and increased pressure against veins are both reasons why pregnant women have an increased chance of vein disorders.
  • Taking birth control. Any hormonal changes, including taking birth control, can contribute to spider veins forming.
  • Being obese. There is extra weight on your veins, plus a lack of exercise can lead to poor circulation.
  • Entering menopause. When women enter menopause, their estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate. Now, aside from their involvement in reproduction, these hormones play a role in the function and flexibility of blood valves, while helping boost blood flow. As such, when their levels fall off sharply during menopause, veins become drier, more brittle and less flexible. In turn, this leads to blood pooling and a higher risk for varicose veins.

Preventing Spider Veins


  • It is misunderstood that only older people develop vein problems. In fact, you can develop and get treatment for spider veins at any point in your life, even though increasing age does increase your risk slightly.
  • Diabetes can increase your risk for varicose veins, since high blood sugar levels can weaken or damage your veins. Plus, diabetes is a leading cause of CVI, or chronic venous insufficiency, another risk factor for varicose veins.
  • Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent vein issues because it improves circulation to the legs.
  • Quit smoking and it will reduce your risk of developing spider or varicose veins, plus other complications including venous ulcers.
  • Spider vein effects can be serious. With spider veins, you may develop bleeding. Also, spider veins often appear with late-stage fatty liver disease. But with this condition, the spider vein effects would be seen on your chest back and shoulders, or possibly as broken blood vessels in your face.


  • You can prevent vein disease if it's hereditary. There currently is no proven way to completely prevent developing spider veins.
  • Spider veins and varicose veins aren't the same thing. While people use the terms interchangeably, they are different medical conditions. Now, varicose veins represent a more advanced stage of disease. Still...
  • Spider veins aren't always a cosmetic issue. If you have more severe spider veins, we recommend that you have an ultrasound examination to determine if Chronic Venous Insufficiency is the underlying cause of your spider veins.
  • Wearing high heels can cause foot problems, but they do not cause spider veins.
  • Crossing your legs does not lead to spider veins, but prolonged sitting can.
  • Pregnancy doesn't cause spider veins. But certain conditions in your body during pregnancy can increase your risk for vein health issues, including spider veins.
  • Some people think massage is an effective varicose vein treatment. And that's not true. Massaging your legs may briefly relieve some of your vein disease symptoms, but the effects won't last. The only way to treat and get rid of your varicose veins is with an effective medical intervention.
  • Surgery isn't the most effective varicose vein treatment. In fact, there are equally or more effective options that are far less invasive. All of which we offer at our five Houston-area Texas Endovascular Associates offices, serving Katy, Sugar Land, Clear Lake and the Woodlands.

Luckily, at each of our offices, Dr. FoxDr. Hardee and Dr. Valenson have extensive experience with spider vein treatment, including sclerotherapy, in the Houston and Dallas area. So make your appointment todaymake your appointment todaymake your appointment today to address the effects of varicose veins with scientifically proven treatment methods.

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