Veins 101

An estimated 80 million adults in the U.S. alone suffer from leg vein disease. Below is some basic information worth knowing…

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are veins that have become large and twisted. Though they may be found elsewhere, most varicose veins are found throughout the leg in the superficial veins, which are subject to high pressure when standing. Varicose veins are often painful, especially when standing or walking. They are also considered unappealing cosmetically. Varicose veins often itch and, if untreated, scratching may cause ulcers to develop.

Spider Veins

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are smaller. They are often red or blue and are closer to the surface of the skin. They look like spider webs with their short jagged lines. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face. They can cover either a very small or very large area of the skin. Spider veins can be caused by the backup of blood, hormone changes, inherited factors and exposure to the sun.


Most patients receiving treatment for leg vein problems, are women. However, variose veins occur in men as well. So what causes these problems to occur? Several factors: hormones and heredity can both be part of the equation. Jobs requiring long periods of standing or sitting contribute to vein disease. Those with Type A blood and the elderly have a higher risk factor. Varicose veins ar also twice as common in overweight and tall individuals. Pregnancy is a frequent cause of varicose veins. And, finally, trauma can also cause unsightly, painful veins to surface. The popular myth that crossing your legs causes vein problems is just that, a myth.

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