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Are Spider Veins Hereditary?

If your mother and grandmother suffered from unsightly spider veins, you may wonder if you will be next. The answer is probably yes. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available.

Dr. Mark Schwartz and our skilled team provide a variety of minimally-invasive vein treatments here at North Shore Vein Center, located in Lake Success, New York. We perform the latest procedures using state-of-the-art techniques for the best possible outcome.

Spider veins

Appearing blue, red, or purple, spider veins are typically thin lines, branches, or webs found on the legs and sometimes the face. In some cases, they are a cosmetic concern, while for other people they can cause pain, heaviness, burning, itching, and/or cramps at night.

Healthy veins return blood back to the heart by using a one-way valve that shuts after the blood passes through to stop it from flowing backward. If this valve grows weak or gets damaged, blood can pool and result in spider veins.

Genetics and other risk factors

There are a variety of risk factors that can increase your chances for spider veins. Genetics is a big one, with about 90% of individuals who get them having relatives with them as well. There are other possible contributing factors, too.

Along with an increased susceptibility due to heredity, women and older people are also at greater risk. Certain conditions can increase the likelihood like pregnancy, being overweight, and having a previous blood clot or damage to a vein. Even sitting or standing for several hours at a time, experiencing sun damage to the skin, and using hormonal birth control or menopause treatments can lead to greater odds of developing spider veins.

Treatment options

The good news is even if your genetics or other factors have not worked in your favor, you don't have to live with unattractive veins. Compression stockings ranging from light support pantyhose to prescription compression legwear can work for some people. Others seeking a more permanent solution have a number of options.

One possibility is VeinGogh, which involves using controlled heating to the problematic blood vessels to eliminate the spider veins. With sclerotherapy, Dr. Schwartz injects a solution which causes the troubled veins to seal shut while the blood re-routes to healthy veins. Laser therapy collapses then seals veins shut using thermal energy.

You can't fight genetics—or a number of the other risk factors for spider veins— but that doesn't mean you have to live with them. Call our office at 516-231-1934 to book an appointment and find out which treatment is right for you. 

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