Spider Veins Conditions

The name “Spider Veins” originates from the web of blue/purple and red veins that start to appear on legs with age. These are also enlarged superficial blood vessels like varicose veins, but much smaller in size and closer to the skin. Usually spider veins are less than 1 mm in diameter. They can appear anywhere on the body but the most common place is the area just behind the knees.

Medically termed as Telangiectasia, more than 80% adult Americans suffer from spider veins, especially on their legs. While this condition usually do not cause medical complications, it can terminated for cosmetic, or medical, reasons with help of some painless procedures like sclerotherapy and laser treatment.


In addition to the presence of a web of red and blue/purple veins that can be seen through the skin, people with spider veins may also suffer from:

  • Tiredness in the legs
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Heavy feeling in the legs
  • Itching around the affected area

Risk Factors

Just like Varicose veins, spider veins are usually caused by increased pressure in the small veins. Although there is no specific reason why some people develop this condition, but heredity and age are deemed as most common factors. Also, people who stand for long periods of time, like teachers and nurses, tend to increase pressure on their leg veins and develop symptoms of spider veins.


Physical exam by a certified doctor is required for the diagnosis of varicose veins. This may include the doctor checking swelling of legs while you are standing and asking you to describe pain and aching in the legs. In most cases ultrasound test may be required to see if veins are functioning properly or if there is sign of blood clotting. In this test, a technician or doctor runs a hand-held device (transducer) against your skin on the area being examined. The transducer transmits images of the veins in your legs to a monitor, so a technician and your doctor can see them. All such tests for diagnosis of varicose veins are painless.