On their own, spider veins aren't too much trouble - you may be concerned about them because of cosmetic reasons, but they're normally not very visible or not too significant of an issue. But if you're gotten a sudden outbreak of spider veins or varicose veins, then it's natural that you might get worried.
So what exactly causes a sudden outbreak of spider veins, and should you be concerned? There are a variety of health conditions or lifestyle choices that can suddenly cause venous insufficiency. Fortunately, most of these causes are relatively mild or benign - though it's still important that you get yourself checked with a physical examination and laboratory testing to make sure it isn't one of the serious ones.
Spider veins usually occur when blood pools in your blood vessels, or when your normal blood flow from your deep veins gets interrupted in some way. It's a medical condition that normally doesn't cause a lot of harm to the patient, but there are occasions and risk factors where it can turn into something more serious.
So what exactly can cause the sudden appearance of spider veins on your skin?
Elastic stockings can be a bold fashion choice, but they're also one of the leading causes of spider veins appearing. Because tight clothing can easily cut off or interrupt the circulation in your body, you develop a higher risk of getting spider veins.
However, this process doesn’t happen all at once – you don’t put on stocking and automatically expect spider veins to appear. What can make the appearance of spider veins seem so sudden is that you need to wear those stockings for a prolonged amount of time, so you actually don’t notice spider veins developing until they become really apparent all at once.
This also isn’t to say that stockings are universally the cause of spider veins appearing. In fact, medical compression stockings are one of the best ways to prevent from getting any more spider veins, and can help with other symptoms like leg swelling, interrupted blood flow, or even reducing the risk of blood clots.
On the more serious side, sudden spider veins can be caused by a blood clot in your vein system. Also referred to as deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot is a serious medical condition that requires immediate treatment. They occur most often in the leg, but they can happen anywhere where there’s a blood vessel or where your vein walls are compromised or clogged in some way.
Blood clots aren’t just serious because they can block normal blood circulation in your body – what can really be fatal is if the blood clot actually loosens up and goes back to circulating in your system. A blood clot doesn’t dissolve in your blood, but rather keeps its shape and travels to other parts of your system like your lungs.
Your lungs aren’t equipped to handle a blood clot, so you can develop a blockage called a pulmonary embolism. While this isn’t one of the more fatal conditions that can happen to you because of blood clotting it can still be fatal for people who leave the condition untreated or who have compromised lungs.
Anything that affects blood flow can technically cause spider veins to appear, but most especially daily routines that change your blood pressure. There are a lot of different activities that can cause spider veins to appear this way, but the most common one is exercise.
When you exercise, your veins get bigger to accommodate for the sharp uptick of blood flowing through your body. This doesn’t technically lead to spider veins right away, but since your veins expand dramatically during exercise, it can look like that you have larger veins. Fortunately, these veins contract after you’ve cooled down, so your skin looks normal again.
It’s rare for prolonged exercise to cause active outbreaks of spider veins, but it can happen if your workouts are particularly intense or if you don’t cool down properly. They’re also more apparent if you play a sport or do an activity that heavily involves your legs, like cycling.
Conversely, not being active enough can also cause spider veins to appear, especially on your legs. It’s actually easier to get spider veins if you haven’t been moving that much, compared to a fairly active lifestyle.
This is because your blood doesn’t rely on your veins to move around your body: gravity also plays a role, especially around the lower areas of your body like your legs. Because the blood flow down there is regularly going against the force of gravity to get back to your heart, it’s easier to experience interrupted blood flow, blood clots, and blood pooling around that area.
Sitting down and standing up for long periods can drastically reduce blood flow. Moving around regularly can prevent this from happening by allowing your veins room to expand and contract, which helps prevent any potential blockages from forming.
With the huge role that hormones play in the day-to-day appearance of our skin and the performance of our body, it’s no wonder that they also impact the appearance of spider veins. Anything that even remotely affects the hormones in your body can also lead to the sudden appearance of spider veins, but common hormonal causes include pregnancy, menstruation, or birth control pills.
For pregnancy, the additional blood flow (and the overall increased blood circulation) to support the baby can easily cause veins to become more visible. Adding that the mother generally can’t move around or be active the further they get along with their pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for spider veins to develop all of a sudden, especially around their legs.
Menstruation or birth control pills can also have a significant effect on spider vein formation since their effects change the entire body’s balance of hormones. Because this can also affect things like blood circulation and blood flow, developing spider veins (even temporarily) during these occasions aren’t uncommon.
Finally, one significantly overlooked factor in the sudden appearance of spider veins is genetics. While previous causes can be attributed to acute onsets of medical conditions, lifestyle choices, or other factors, getting spider veins can also run in the family. At a certain age, you become more prone to developing spider veins – and this can drastically shift if you have a family history of developing spider veins.
Granted, there isn’t much that we understand about the role that genetics plays a part in suddenly getting spider veins. Your spider veins may not be as serious or as prominent compared to your other family members, while in some cases it can be extremely life-threatening.
Ideally, this is where you should have an experienced medical provider to help you ascertain your risk for developing spider veins, especially if you already know that you have a family history with it. They can help give you personalized recommendations on how to manage spider veins and prevent any development of future spider veins without the need for an invasive procedure like surgery.
Read More: Rebounding to Treat Varicose Veins
Having visible veins isn't necessarily a bad thing: most of the time, it's not because of a pre-existing condition but rather an active activity that you've been doing. However, that doesn't mean that it can't be caused by something more serious. If you're not sure about the cause of your spider veins appearing or if they're accompanied by other symptoms.
As an experienced vein treatment center, Vein Center Doctor can help treat various vein disorders and vein diseases with effective, long-term, and non-invasive treatments. We have particular expertise in the management and removal of spider veins and varicose veins, with top-tier facilities and world-class experts ready to help you.
Reach out to us today and call 1-862-227-1054.
Most Insurance is accepted for treatment