Causes & Risk Factors

Of Spider and Varicose Veins

Heredity is the number one contributing factor that leads to spider and varicose veins. Other predisposing factors may include aging, standing occupations, obesity and leg injury.

Women are more likely to suffer from abnormal leg veins then men, about 40% of the American male population over the age of 40 do have varicose veins and venous disorders. It is estimated in America that up to 50% of women may be affected with this common and treatable disease. Hormonal changes that can cause veins includes puberty, pregnancy, menopause, the use of progesterone, estrogen, and oral contraceptives affect the disease.

Vein Disease During Pregnancy

It is very common for pregnant women to suffer from varicose veins during the first trimester. Pregnancy causes increases in hormones and blood volume, which in turn cause veins to enlarge. In addition, as the uterus grows it causes increased pressure on the veins. Varicose veins due to pregnancy often improve within 3 months after delivery. However, with additional pregnancies, varicosities are less likely to resolve themselves.

Look for varicose veins on your calves, behind the knees or on the inside of the legs.

Preventing Vein Disease

Because heredity is the biggest factor in being predisposed to vein disease, there are definitive measures that patients can take to completely prevent spider or varicose veins from developing. There are a few steps you can take to prevent existing varicose or spider veins from getting worse. To improve your vein health:

  • Lose weight if you’re obese to help improve blood flow in your veins
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • Elevate your legs throughout the day
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes or high heels for long periods of time
  • Wear compression stockings
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes per day

To learn about minimally invasive vein treatments, schedule an appointment at our vein clinic in Flower Mound.


Dr. Handley on the Cause of Vein Disease

Dr. Handley explains What causes spider veins

Most of the causes of spider veins is just genetics – heredity. If your parents or grandparents or relatives have had spider veins, then you’ll tend to get spider veins too. Occasionally, trauma can cause spider veins to come up at a certain location where you’ve been hit by an object or had an accident or something like that. But most of the time it’s just genetics.