What causes spider veins?

Spider veins are usually caused by venous insufficiency; they are a symptom of veins deeper down in the leg or in the body backing up with blood. In this video, cardiothoracic surgeon David Greuner, MD, explains exactly how spider veins develop.
Circulatory problems are the most common cause of spider veins, which can result from age, weight, pregnancy or injury. Sun exposure, hormones and genetics can also play a role in their appearance.
Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing to safeguard your skin from the sun's harmful rays.
Sorry, but you can’t blame your parents for these veins, which can be red, blue, or purple. Pregnancy, birth control pills, and trauma to the leg, such as surgery or a car accident can cause them. (No, you can’t get them from crossing your legs too often.)

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.
Dermatologist Dr. Heidi Waldorf explains the causes of spider veins. Watch Dr. Waldorf's video for tips and information on skin health.
Susan Evans
There are numerous causes of spider veins; although pin-pointing a direct cause is not simple. Spider veins do tend to run in families; however, more women than men have them because female hormones tend to exacerbate them. This is why women going through puberty or pregnancy, or who are using birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy often see them develop. Fair-skinned people can develop these visible blood vessels from too much sun exposure. Still, other folks may get them as the result of an injury, or even from wearing girdles or hosiery bands that are too tight. Even standing too much can be a cause.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A sedentary lifestyle and excess weight can lead to spider veins. Learn more about spider veins in this video by Dr. Oz.


Continue Learning about Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Large twisted blue or purplish veins visible at the skins surface are known as varicose veins. Any vein in your body can become varicose but it usually occurs in the legs and feet due to the pressure the lower body endures to keep ...

your body upright. It is caused by the weakening of the valves and veins in your legs. Varicose veins are usually hereditary. We are also more prone to get varicose veins as we age. Symptoms include itching, burning, throbbing or cramping in the legs and around the veins. Self-care measures such as exercising, elevating your legs, and wearing compression stockings are used to ease the pain and prevent varicose veins from getting worse. If these measures dont work, see your doctor to discuss medical treatments that are available to close or remove varicose veins.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.