Are Spider Veins Dangerous?

Spider veins – superficial, spiky veins that look like spider legs – can form if veins stop working properly. For some individuals, spider veins are not dangerous and only pose a cosmetic concern. However, in some cases, spider veins may cause unpleasant symptoms and can indicate greater vein problems. To determine whether your spider veins are dangerous warning signs, get your veins evaluated by a vein specialist.

What Causes Spider Veins?

While a healthy vein transfers blood back toward the heart, a malfunctioning vein allows blood to pool or even flow backward. The damaged vein may become known as a spider vein (telangiectasia) and take on the appearance of bluish or reddish spiky spider legs or tree branches. Spider veins may appear singly or in clusters and often occur in individuals who are pregnant, going through hormonal changes, obese, or have a family history of vein problems. They can also be caused by trauma or prolonged periods of sitting or standing.

Can Spider Veins Cause Symptoms?

Even though spider veins are not usually as serious as varicose veins, they can still cause symptoms. These may include pain, discomfort, itching, burning, or a feeling of heaviness. Individuals with spider veins may or may not experience these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms is not directly linked to the number of visible spider veins.

Do Spider Veins Require Treatment?

If you do not have any symptoms and you are not bothered by the appearance of your spider veins, you may not need treatment. However, you should get evaluated by a vein specialist to determine whether treatment may be advisable. Bear in mind that spider veins cannot repair themselves, and they can also indicate more serious problems with other veins. They can be an early warning sign of other vein issues that may occur in the future or may already be occurring (but are undetected as of yet). Therefore, all spider veins should be examined by a vein specialist even if spider vein treatment does not seem necessary.

What Problems Can Spider Veins Indicate?

Because spider veins are malfunctioning veins, blood can “stand” or pool in them. This may allow fluid to leak into the surrounding tissue, causing swelling and a number of health issues. Additionally, spider veins may turn into varicose veins, which are a more serious problem.

Spider veins can also be early warning signs that any of the following could occur:

  • Skin ulcers
  • Swelling and/or skin discoloration
  • Blood clots, thrombophlebitis, or a pulmonary embolism
  • Cellulitis
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Deep vein thrombosis

How Can a Vein Evaluation Help Me?

A proper evaluation of spider veins will reveal whether you have any hidden problems with your larger veins. It will also provide insight as to the best course of action. Our experts at Vein Specialists of Augusta take every care to establish a correct diagnosis, beginning with a history, focused physical exam, non-invasive ultrasound, and Doppler examination. If larger vein problems are discovered, treating these first will make treatment of the smaller spider veins more successful. 

Spider veins may be small, but they should not be ignored. Get your spider veins evaluated to ensure that they are not dangerous warning signs and that your circulatory system functions optimally to keep you healthy. Call (706) 854-8340 or contact us online to request your appointment today with Vein Specialists of Augusta.

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