Many people wonder if drinking alcohol can cause spider veins. Unfortunately, this is not a simple yes or no, because it depends on the individual. To help you understand the relationship between alcohol consumption and spider veins, we’ll explain how spider veins form and how alcohol can affect them.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are veins that look like a spider web. They are usually red, blue, or purple in color and are most commonly found on the legs, but they can also be found on the face and other areas of the body. They are generally considered to be unsightly, and many people want to get rid of spider veins for aesthetic reasons.
Why Do Spider Veins Form?
Spider veins form when the valves inside of the veins fail and allow blood to flow back towards the heart. The most common risk factors for developing spider veins are genetics, aging, pregnancy, being female, being overweight, having damaged veins, blood clots, sun damage, and frequently sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time.
Are Spider Veins Dangerous?
Spider veins are not dangerous or life-threatening, but they can cause problematic symptoms like pain and swelling that can affect quality of life. Spider veins can also become varicose veins, which may be accompanied by worse symptoms and much bigger complications for your health. For these reasons, spider veins are a cause for concern and should be evaluated by a vein specialist.
Does Drinking Alcohol Cause Spider Veins?
You will notice that among the most common risk factors for spider veins listed above, alcohol was not included. However, for some people, the development of spider veins can be linked to their alcohol consumption.
Alcohol consumption increases blood flow, which causes the veins to have to work harder. It also limits the liver’s ability to filter toxins and waste from the blood. This causes blood flow to become thicker, which places additional pressure on the veins. Veins that were already faulty may become inflamed and malfunction, causing the backward blood flow that leads to spider vein formation. If other risk factors (such as genetics, being overweight, or prolonged sitting and standing) are also present, even healthy veins may begin to malfunction and lead to spider veins.
Should I Stop Drinking Alcohol?
If no other risk factors are present, consuming alcohol may have no effect on your risk of developing spider veins. However, if you do have other risk factors, or if you consume alcohol often and/or in large quantities, it may increase the likelihood that you will develop spider veins or other venous insufficiencies. This is especially true if you already have existing spider veins and/or varicose veins.
If you are concerned about getting spider veins from drinking alcohol, consider your other risk factors. If you already have a personal or family history of varicose veins or other related venous problems, you may need to limit your alcohol consumption. However, if no other risk factors are present, this may never be a problem for you.
If you are concerned about your risk of developing spider veins, or if you have questions about the relationship between alcohol consumption and spider veins, schedule your appointment here at Vein Specialists of Augusta. Our vein experts will evaluate your health and offer their best recommendations and treatments to help you maintain healthy veins. Call (706) 854-8340 or contact us online to book an appointment with Dr. Sherman today.