5 Risk Factors for Spider and Varicose Veins

5 Risk Factors for Spider and Varicose Veins

If you’ve ever looked down at your legs and thought, “I really wish I could get rid of these veins,” you’re not alone. As many as 60% of adults in the United States have spider or varicose veins, leading to more than $1 billion a year in treatment costs.

Spider and varicose veins form near the surface of your skin. Spider veins are small vessels that are usually red, blue, or purple; varicose veins are larger and more swollen. Laser treatment can remove some of these veins, but it’s better to keep them from developing in the first place.

These types of veins form for several reasons; some you can control and some you can’t. Here are five risk factors for spider and varicose veins, courtesy of the expert team at Melanie Adams Dermatology in Columbia, Maryland.


If both of your parents have varicose veins, you’re also likely to develop them at some point — your chances are as high as 90%. Scientists don’t completely understand why this is the case.


If you have a job where you stand or sit in one position for long periods of time, varicose or spider veins are more likely to form in your legs. 

Standing still increases the pressure in your veins and makes it harder for your muscles to pump blood back to your heart. This can lead to blood pooling in your legs, which can cause varicose veins to form. 

Add as much movement and physical activity to your day as you can to avoid this.


Carrying extra weight is bad for your health for multiple reasons, but it’s especially significant when it comes to varicose and spider veins. 

If you’re obese, your body puts extra pressure on the veins in your legs, no matter if you’re standing or sitting. This pressure adds extra strain to the walls of those blood vessels and makes it more difficult for your body to pump blood back to your heart.


If your diet is low in fiber, as American diets tend to be, you’re more likely to experience constipation. This can lead to additional pressure on the veins in your abdomen as well as your legs if you have to strain to have a bowel movement. 

Keeping your diet healthy with a good amount of fiber helps you avoid this problem. A nutritious diet plays a large role in helping you lose weight as well.

Age and gender

As you age, the risk for varicose and spider veins increases as well. Over the years, the valves and walls of your veins tend to weaken, allowing blood to pool in your legs and making it more likely for spider or varicose veins to form. 

Women are also more likely than men to get varicose and spider veins, thanks to hormones such as estrogen. Being pregnant can cause varicose veins as well.

If you’re already dealing with spider or varicose veins, laser treatment is a quick, convenient, and safe way to remove them. 

Contact Melanie Adams Dermatology today to set up a consultation to see how we can help. Just call our office or fill out the appointment form on our site, and you’re on your way to getting rid of those unsightly veins!

You Might Also Enjoy...

Are Spider Veins Dangerous?

You just noticed spider veins on your legs, and now you may be worried. Are they dangerous or just unsightly? Read on to find out what steps you should take.