Spider Veins

Spider Veins


The appearance of spider veins on various parts of your body can often affect your self esteem. These blue and red spider-like lines, which appear primarily on the legs and face, may cause embarrassment and affect the way you dress in order to hide or cover up the spider veins.

The problem goes beyond spider veins’ effect on your emotional health and self-confidence. On the legs, spider veins can also be uncomfortable, causing symptoms such as burning or itching. In some cases, they may be an indication of other venous issues such as the development of varicose veins. On the face, their appearance can also be indicative of a more serious dermatological problem such as rosacea or serious sun damage.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are small, open blood vessels close to the skin’s surface. Usually seen on the face (nose, cheek, chin) or legs, spider veins enlarge slightly with time. These tiny, superficial veins are harmless.

Signs of Spider Veins

  • Red or blue veins close to the surface of the skin
  • Jagged, thread-like lines in a web pattern or separate

What are the Causes of Spider Veins?

• Heredity accounts for 80 percent of cases (2)

• For leg veins: type of work, stand or sit a lot

• For facial veins: extreme weather

• Sun damage

• Aging

The majority of cases of spider veins are the result of genetics and/or aging. However, there are many other factors that can cause the appearance of spider veins. On the legs they can be due to the type of work that you do such as long hours of sitting or standing. Pregnancy and obesity in women are also known to be causes of spider veins. On the face, it may involve lifestyle choices such as drinking alcohol or excessive exposure to sunlight causing sun damage.

Fortunately there are non-invasive spider vein treatments that can reduce or remove spider veins, alleviate the discomfort associated with this condition, and help eliminate any insecurities you may feel about their appearance on your face or legs.

Who is Affected by Spider Veins?

  • Men and women (1)

Related Problems

  • Burning sensation
  • Rosacea or acne
  • Sun damage and premature skin aging
  • Underlying venous issues

Potential Spider Vein Treatments

Note: Certain treatments for medical conditions considered to be elective and/or cosmetic are not covered by Medical Services Plan of BC

If you have spider veins that are bothering you, there are solutions. To learn more, please book an appointment with one of our dermatologists.


Patient Resources
American Academy of Dermatology
Mayo Clinic
(1-2) American Academy of Dermatology

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