What Causes Spider Veins on the Thighs?

Written By Center for Vein Restoration
Blog What Causes Spider Veins On Thighs 1

If you’re looking for ways to stay on top of your venous health, understanding the causes of spider veins is a powerful first step. Even though they’re typically harmless, they do indicate blood vessel damage.

Knowing the causes of spider veins on the thighs, face, and other parts of the body can help you determine whether you’d like to explore cosmetic treatment options while equipping yourself with the tools to prevent further damage and improve your well-being.

At Center For Vein Restoration, our experts are dedicated to your venous health. They will quickly diagnose your condition, discuss your treatment options in detail, and communicate with clarity and compassion. Read on as we break down the specific causes of spider veins on the thighs — one of the most common places for them to form.

What is a Spider Vein?

Spider veins form when the one-way valves in the blood vessels just under the surface of the skin get weak, causing the vessel to pool with blood and expand. They typically appear as purple, red, or blue clusters resembling spider webs, hence their name.

While spider veins are primarily considered a cosmetic concern, there are multiple treatment options that can decrease their unsightly appearance. In some cases, spider veins do show symptoms of vein disease, which can include itching, burning, cramping, and fatigue. According to the Cleveland Clinic, treatment for spider veins may improve the physical symptoms that accompany them, depending on their level of severity and certain lifestyle factors.

Spider Veins: Where Do They Form?

Spider veins usually form on your legs or your face, but they can appear anywhere on your body. Like varicose veins, spider veins are more common in women, affecting more than half of the female population, as per the Office on Women’s Health. Other factors that can increase the chances of developing spider veins include:

  • Being overweight or obese (This puts extra pressure on your veins)
  • Using hormonal birth control, including the pill, a shot, a patch, an intrauterine device, or vaginal ring (Estrogen can weaken the valves in your veins)
  • Having a condition that caused damage to your blood vessels (Some conditions cause scarring or blood clots in the legs, making spider veins more likely to appear)
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time, especially for more than four hours (This can make your veins have to work harder against gravity to pump blood back to the heart)
  • Being pregnant (This causes your veins to swell as they receive excess pressure from your growing uterus)
  • Being older (Your calf muscles and the valves in the veins can weaken with age)

It’s also important to recognize that hormonal changes can contribute to the severity of symptoms—not just risk factors. Fluctuating hormone levels can make symptoms more noticeable and uncomfortable during certain times in a woman’s menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, or during menopause, according to MedicalNewsToday. Resting and elevating your legs can help provide relief.

What Causes Spider Veins on the Thighs?

Spider veins most commonly form on the legs, and here’s why: pressure. We mentioned that the veins in your legs carry blood back to the heart. This means these blood vessels must work against gravity for a longer distance than any other vessels on your body. This, in turn, means that the vessels in the legs are the most likely to experience some form of valve malfunction and a backup of blood — especially when combined with one or more of the risk factors listed above.

If left untreated, spider veins on legs and other areas can grow in size. New spider veins can also form near areas where existing ones haven’t been addressed. More importantly, untreated spider veins can become varicose veins, which have more prominent symptoms and complications.

Now, let’s talk about what you can do to manage your venous health.

Spider Vein Treatments

Determining your spider vein treatment options will depend on your specific symptoms and medical history. You can start seeking relief on your own by wearing medical-grade compression stockings, which will apply pressure to your legs and improve the flow of blood back to your heart. This can also be helpful when used alongside other treatments.

Other ways to achieve relief from spider vein discomfort may involve making changes to your lifestyle. Exercising regularly, elevating your legs when possible, and managing your weight can be effective and prevent more venous complications as you explore spider vein treatments.

How to Get Rid of Spider Veins

Are you wondering how to get rid of spider veins once and for all? Spider vein sclerotherapy may be a viable option. This is a procedure performed on spider veins and certain other venous conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic. This unique process works without the need for any type of imaging equipment: a solution called a sclerosant is injected into the affected veins, causing a reaction that reduces their appearance and symptoms.

Sclerotherapy results may take a few weeks to become fully visible, but the process is minimally invasive. Since no incisions are made, patients who undergo the procedure don’t need to be anesthetized or take time to recover. Patients can return to their normal routine immediately, with few restrictions. Multiple treatments may be required for the patient to achieve the desired outcome, but the vein’s appearance often vanishes completely.

Physical symptoms of spider veins often improve with sclerotherapy as well, especially when other lifestyle changes are made in conjunction with treatment. The process can provide motivation and encouragement for you to take control of other aspects of your overall health and well-being along the way.

When to Seek Immediate Spider Vein Treatment

While we’ve emphasized that spider veins are primarily a cosmetic change, there are times when their appearance can be symptomatic of a serious medical condition. We recommend you keep an eye out for these signs and seek immediate treatment if you notice any of the following:

  • Sores or rashes anywhere on your skin
  • Changes to your skin color
  • The spider vein feels warm to the touch or is swollen (this could be a sign of a blood clot)

Ultimately, it’s important to seek care for your spider veins — or any venous condition — if you feel that your symptoms are impacting your quality of life.

Living With Spider Veins

Understanding why spider veins form can help you determine your likelihood of developing them while exploring your options when it comes to managing symptoms, home remedies, and medical treatments. It’s critical to stay proactive about your venous health — and we’re here to support you through every step of your journey. Ready to take your venous health into your own hands?

Call 240-881-0478 to speak to a Patient Services Representative or schedule your consultation online at a Center for Vein Restoration near you.

Find CVR Near You