Exactly what happens in the body to produce thread veins is not known for sure. Women develop spider veins nearly four times as frequently as men.
About 70 percent of adult women are afflicted with spider veins at some time in their lives. Spider veins appear to be hormonally induced and often are associated with pregnancy and use of the oral contraceptive pill. Although these spider veins do not produce symptoms, the feeder veins deeper in the skin may cause discomfort.
The risk factors for spider veins include:
- A family predisposition for spider veins
- Occupations that involve prolonged standing
- Use of oral contraceptives
- Hormone replacement therapy
- History of blood clots
- Medical conditions that may increase intra-abdominal pressure such as tumours and chronic liver disease
- Prolonged sun exposure
Are My Thread Veins Dangerous?
Thread veins do not usually pose any major health problems. However they may cause aching and discomfort. In rare cases they may be a result of serious liver or other intra-abdominal problems. Your doctor will be able to exclude these causes when you book an appointment.
Most people with thread veins find them unsightly and embarrassing. Attempts to conceal them with clothing or cosmetic agents are often disappointing. Today a simple treatment called sclerotherpy is successfully being used to correct unwanted thread veins of the legs.