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What are spider veins?

Spider veins are tiny enlarged skin veins that look like fine reddish reef guests. By leaching the elastic walls, the small vessels sag and become visible to the naked eye. They are a special form of the varicose veins. In most cases, they occur locally on the lower limb.


What are risk factors for the development of spider veins?

Women are more likely to develop spider veins than men, and more often the disease occurs with increasing age. There is also a hereditary component (connective tissue weakness). Other factors include:

  • Nicotine and alcohol abuse

  • Lack of physical activity (predominantly standing or sedentary activity)

  • High blood pressure

  • Hormonal Contraception ("Pill")

  • Overweight

  • Pregnancy


Are spider veins dangerous?

Spider veins are not dangerous in themselves - they are usually asymptomatic and do not necessarily have to be treated. Of those affected, however, they are usually perceived as a clear cosmetic blemish. In addition, they can be an indicator of chronic venous insufficiency of lower-lying vessels.


How can spider veins be treated?

If they are bothersome, spider veins can be treated surgically (sclerotherapy). In the process, a special agent is injected into the affected veins, which causes the venous walls to stick together (sclerosis). Alternatively, they can also be treated with a laser. Often, the procedure must be repeated several times to achieve the desired cosmetic result.

Possible risks of spider vein treatment are, in particular, brownish discoloration (hyperpigmentation) in the treated area. As a rule, the therapy is scarless. The therapy should not take place in the warm summer months.

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