Ugh…those awful spider veins! They look awful and they can really hurt, too! If you have been distressed recently and noticed the appearance of little red and blue lines on your legs, don’t panic. Yes, you are young, healthy, and quite fit, so why would you see those “old lady” leg symptoms? Well guess what: there’s not one varicose veins age when you can expect these bulging guests on your legs.
You may not like how they look, but the fact is that they can become a serious health concern. With that said, there are some facts you should know about spider veins even if you are young. This is the best way to protect the appearance of your legs and enjoy healthy aging!
Spider Veins Are Not Varicose Veins
Don’t mistake these two vein problems. Varicose veins are a darker more dilated vein that can become dangerous if left untreated. It is the painful and unsightly condition you notice on many older women.
Spider veins are much smaller and thinner blue or red veins on the skin. Also known as Telangiectasia, this vein condition is virtually painless and can show up in many places like on legs, behind the knees in young athletes, and on the face.
What do both conditions have in common? It’s their underlying cause: circulation issues. The main culprit is increased pressure on veins and blood vessels which have to work harder to circulate blood through the body.
Risk Factors For Young Women
In simple terms, anything that puts pressure on your vascular system can cause spider veins. Pregnancy puts pressure on your entire body, which can cause spider veins to develop. In fact, between 70 and 80 percent of all pregnant women develop this condition. Because, in addition to the extra weight you’re carrying, pregnancy hormones loosen up your body, including your veins, while your body dramatically increases your blood volume. And that can put extra pressure on your stretched-out veins, increasing your risk for dysfunction and vein disease.
Obesity can also trigger greater pressure on blood vessels as the body works harder to circulate the blood.
If your parents or grandparents had spider veins at a young age, you are likely to get them too. Yet again, another genetic whammy! Plus, your job can play a role in your varicose veins age. A recent study found that teachers have a higher risk for varicose veins because they spend all day on their feet.
As you can see, young otherwise healthy and active women can discover spider veins on their legs, and especially behind their knees if they do any running. You may find them ugly, but they are not really harmful.
Vulvar Varicose Veins After Menopause
Older women have a higher risk for varicose veins, because during perimenopause and menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate. Those rising and falling hormone levels can thicken the vein walls. In turn, the internal valves can’t operate well, and that can lead to varicose veins.
But vulvar varicose veins are also a concern after menopause. Because, while they’re more common in pregnant women, these varicose veins on the vulva can develop due to hormonal changes. And, since menopause is accompanied by major hormonal changes, these vulvar varicosities may develop later in life.
Spider Veins On The Face
Facial spider veins have several causes. They may be found on the nose, around the nose, and on the cheeks mainly. Some of the more common reasons include:
- Too much sun or wind exposure
- Excessive alcohol
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Taking birth control
- Trauma to the skin
Treating Spider Veins At Any Age
Spider veins will not just go away on their own without some type of intervention. You can try a cover-up to hide spider veins if they really bother you, but that’s a short-term fix.
If you are determined to banish them from your life, the safest treatment is a non-invasive, simple laser therapy. The laser dries up the blood vessels and they are reabsorbed back into the body tissue. It is a quick process to remove spider veins with a short healing period.
Although there are no real health risks from spider veins, even if you are young, here is one word of caution: If you discover spider veins rapidly increasing on your torso, arms or legs, it might be wise to have a professional examine the changes.