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What health problems can spider veins cause?

I have some patches of purplish spider veins on the my upper thighs. They're definitely unattractive, but from what I can tell, that's the only problem I have with them. Do spider veins cause any serious health problems or are they mainly just a cosmetic concern? If I were to not get my spider veins treated, is there a risk that they could develop into something more serious?

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Doctors Answers (4)

Spider veins do not cause serious health problems and do not develop into other serious conditions. They may be due to previous pregnancies, traumas, prolonged standing which can be work-related, such as with teachers and nurses. They are usually considered a cosmetic problem and by themselves are not a medical problem, unless the location (such as on the face) or the density of the spider veins produces symptoms such as itching, but are typically not covered by insurance. Treated spider veins will be reabsorbed by the body and will be gone. New spider veins can form over time due to the same processes such as pregnancies, traumas, high-heeled shoes, and prolonged standing.

Spider veins on your legs are mainly a cosmetic problem. They usually cause no untoward effects. If you do not treat them, they will usually stay the same or get a little worse over time.

Spider veins are very small veins in the surface and are typically considered cosmetic and superficial. To treat successfully, we transilluminate with a special light to look for "feeder veins" below. We treat these at the same time to reduce recurrence of spider veins. A series of treatments is usually needed. The most common areas for these veins in women are the outer thighs inside the knees, but can be anywhere on the legs, face, body. During our consultations we usually check with ultrasound to eliminate deeper causes especially if there are symptoms such as heaviness, aching, swelling, cramping, etc. Mostly the deeper veins are normal. Left untreated, these veins may or may not extend, but they will not develop into anything serious.

Spider veins are often a sign of more significant venous reflux in the underlying veins. The reflux tends to get worse over time in the underlying veins and may lead to more spider veins. The only time spider veins themselves cause complications is when they bleed. Spider veins on your thighs are a little less likely to bleed than the ones on the calves and shins.

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