Spider veins on the legs – how do they form? How can they be treated?

11 November 2023
Woman suffering from spider veins on legs. En Source: VistaCreate

Cracked blood vessels on the legs, in terms of appearance, can resemble spiders – which is why they are sometimes referred to as spider veins or vascular spider veins. How and why do they form? Are they dangerous and can they be got rid of?

What are spider veins on the legs?

Spider veins are vascular lesions, more specifically telangiectasias, i.e. dilated and broken blood vessels. They most often appear on the legs – the first ones usually appear in the ankle area.

Inconspicuous spider veins around the ankles are sometimes perceived as an aesthetic shortcoming, but should not be underestimated. In some cases, they may be a symptom of a developing vascular disease – for example venous insufficiency.

Why do the capillaries on my legs dilate and burst?

The dilatation and contraction of blood vessels is a completely normal process that occurs under the influence of many different factors (for example, due to temperature changes). If the blood vessel walls are strong enough, this process does not cause any damage.

Cracked capillaries are therefore most often the result of their fragility. What causes it and what else contributes to the formation of vascular spider veins?

  • Circulatory disorders – primarily venous insufficiency. Often its first herald is precisely the spider veins on the legs. Why exactly in this location? It is quite simple – in order for the blood to flow away from the legs towards the heart, it has to travel a long way and against gravity. Sedentary lifestyles, excess weight and poor eating habits negatively affect the venous system and blood circulation in the lower limbs – hence spider veins most often appear on the lower limbs.
  • Prolonged sitting – can cause swelling and blood stasis in the lower limbs, which can result in the appearance of spider veins and even varicose veins.
  • Overweight – promotes high blood pressure, which in turn can translate into burst blood vessels on the legs.
  • Vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies – resulting from dietary errors, but also other conditions and disorders.

People with hormonal disorders and pregnant women are also at risk of developing spider veins on their legs. If you notice cracked blood vessels on your legs, make an appointment for a medical consultation. Treatment of diseases of the venous system is carried out by a phlebologist and, if necessary, by a vascular surgeon.

Treatment of vascular spider veins

There are several different ways of treating telangiectasias today. The choice of one should be preceded by a visit to a specialist and tests. What tests? First of all, Doppler ultrasound examination, which allows the condition of veins and arteries to be assessed. In some cases, blood tests are also ordered – for example to verify the correct rate of blood clotting.

How can burst capillaries on the legs be treated?

  • Using sclerotherapy – this is one of the methods of levelling spider veins. Sclerotherapy of spider veins involves the injection of a substance that closes selected blood vessels and causes the existing spider veins to gradually disappear. The procedure is rather painless and quick.
  • Laser – in this case, laser beams are used to close the broken capillaries. They produce a pointwise higher temperature, which causes the selected vessels to fibrosise and close.

The above methods are typical treatments for spider veins. Both sclerotherapy and laser treatment provide satisfactory results. At the same time, you must be aware that none of these methods can guarantee that new spider veins will not appear on your legs. To avoid them, follow preventive recommendations from your doctor.

Spider veins on legs – home remedies

Among the methods of preventing vascular spider veins, it is worth mentioning some home remedies and preventive principles. What to do and what not to do to minimise the risk of bursting blood vessels on the legs?

  • Opt for regular physical activity. Try not to lead a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time. If you can, take breaks while working to stretch your legs at least for a while.
  • Take care of a healthy diet and try to control the correct body weight. Being overweight and obese promotes hypertension and blood vessel rupture.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that do not restrict movement or put pressure on your body. If you wear high-heeled shoes, don’t wear them all day and choose styles that don’t put too much pressure on your calves.
  • Rest with your legs slightly elevated.
  • When it is very hot and your legs feel heavy, you can apply cool compresses or briefly immerse your feet and calves in lukewarm water. However, make sure the water is not too cold – sudden temperature changes cause the blood vessels to expand and contract dynamically, which may contribute to the formation of spider veins.

Ultimately, you will find out what works best for your spider veins. Keep in mind that no home methods will remove existing spider veins – you will only get this effect in an aesthetic medicine office if you opt for sclerotherapy or laser closure of the broken capillaries.

Karol Popko

Karol Popko is an experienced author whose pen has been shining in the lifestyle world for many years. With his copywriting practice and insight into trends, he not only shares practical tips, but also opens up a deeper understanding of these topics to his readers. According to Karol, beauty can be found everywhere, and life is worth celebrating with passion and style.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *