What Causes Spider Veins and How Do We Treat Them?

At the Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis, we’re passionate about informing our patients about issues that matter to them. Since around 40% of all women will develop spider veins, known by their scientific name of telangiectasias, it’s essential to understand your options. We have the experience and treatments necessary to help your appearance and well-being. Read on to learn about what causes spider veins and how we treat them. 

What are Spider Veins? 

Spider veins are small twisted veins that become enlarged due to constriction of blood flow. Any superficial vein on the body (close to the skin’s surface) can become  telangiectases. 

What Causes Them? 

Spider veins result most often from weak vein walls and faulty valves within the veins. Ideally, our leg muscles contract and squeeze the deep leg veins, pushing the blood back toward the heart. Valves inside the veins prevent the blood from flowing backward. However, sometimes when these valves weaken or become damaged, blood can flow backward and accumulate in these close-to-the-surface problem areas. Before you know it, you’ll see signs of these twisty blue “spider veins.” 

Although anyone can develop spider veins, they are more common in women and more prevalent as you age. 

Several different conditions can lead to spider veins, including: 

  • Age: As we age, the elasticity of our veins decreases, increasing the likelihood of spider veins.
  • Genetics: Family history plays a role in spider vein development. You may be at a higher risk if your parents or close relatives have spider veins.
  • Weight: Being overweight or obese puts extra pressure on the veins, making them more susceptible to weakening.
  • Prolonged Standing or Sitting: Jobs that require prolonged periods of standing or sitting without movement can hinder proper blood flow in the legs.
  • Pregnancy: Hormonal changes during pregnancy, combined with increased blood volume and pressure on the veins, can contribute to the development of spider veins.


Are They Serious? 

Spider veins are generally nothing more than a cosmetic issue for most people. However, you may experience mild symptoms such as swelling around the ankles and a feeling of added weight to the legs. In some instances, spider veins can lead to venous ulcers and open wounds on the leg or ankle due to the poor functioning of the affected veins. The National Institute of Health suggests that roughly 3-6% of all those suffering from spider veins will develop venous ulcers.

Additional complications due to spider veins include inflammation, thrombosis, and bleeding, although these are rare. Be sure and monitor any changes to your day-to-day health and report them to your medical professional if you suffer from spider veins. 


Do you have spider veins and are looking for ways to treat them? Well, Plastic Surgery Group is here to offer some help!

What Can We Do About Them?  

At The Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis, we treat spider veins with a procedure known as sclerotherapy. This is a safe, effective, and painless injection of a sclerosing solution (salt water) 

into the problem veins. This simple procedure will cause the walls of the veins to swell, stick together, and then seal shut. Once the veins have been sealed, they will collapse, causing them to fade away within a few weeks. 

The Procedure: What to Expect 

Before your treatment, you’ll consult with one of our specialists to make sure the treatment is right for you and address any questions or concerns you may have.  

We will clean and sterilize the treatment area to prevent any risk of infection. Then, we’ll use a fine needle to inject the solution into the vein. This solution will lead to irritation and inflammation within the vein, resulting in its closure and eventual disappearance. After the injection, your specialist will apply compression to the treated area, which will help the veins seal shut and enhance the treatment’s effectiveness. 

There’s no need to make significant adjustments to your schedule with sclerotherapy since it’s a quick outpatient procedure that typically takes no more than 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the number and size of the veins being treated.


Benefits of Sclerotherapy: 

Sclerotherapy offers a variety of benefits if you’re dealing with the hassle of spider veins. One big plus is that it’s simple! Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical procedure that requires no incisions or general anesthetics, so you’ll barely experience any downtime during recovery. Most of our patients experience a significant reduction in the appearance of spider veins after only a few treatment sessions.

Also, sclerotherapy is suitable for various vein sizes and locations, so it’s an adaptable treatment option for all sorts of cases. By closing off the affected veins, sclerotherapy redirects blood flow to healthier alternatives. This improves circulation and gets rid of discomfort caused by faulty veins. 

Not only that, but successful treatment will leave your legs looking and feeling younger and healthier, giving you the confidence you need to show them off in style! 

Do you have spider veins and are looking for ways to treat them? Well, Plastic Surgery Group is here to offer some help!

Laser Treatment: For Tighter & Younger-Looking Skin 

In addition to sclerotherapy, we offer quick and painless laser skin therapies featuring our safe and effective Sciton and Lumenis lasers. These treatments are non-invasive and highly effective, so they’re a great alternative for patients interested in a different method of treating their telangiectasia. Or they can be used in tandem to really level up your skin-care game! 

Call Today to Get Started! 

If you’ve been dealing with the hassle and self-conscious feelings that come with spider veins, there is an alternative. The Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis is staffed with caring, considerate experts who take your goals and concerns to heart. Call us today to schedule an appointment, or complete this online form to start.