Health Encyclopedia

Spider Veins

Spider Veins

Spider veins are small varicose veins that have a bluish, weblike appearance. Varicose veins are twisted and enlarged veins near the surface of the skin that most often occur in the legs and ankles.

Spider veins do not usually cause symptoms, although some people may feel mild itching or burning.

Spider veins are common and generally are not a serious health problem. Most people can manage varicose veins with home treatment, such as exercising, wearing compression stockings, and elevating the legs.

Other treatments include sclerotherapy, in which a chemical injection into a vein makes it close; or laser therapy, which scars and closes a vein. A closed vein loses its source of blood and dies. This makes it likely to fade or disappear.

Last Revised: February 1, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery

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