Spider Veins on the Legs and Feet

Spider veins on the legs and feet

Also known as thread veins, spider veins are thin, prominent veins that are visible below the surface of the skin. They can appear on the legs and feet, and are considerably smaller than varicose veins, but no less deserving of proper assessment and treatment. Spider veins on the legs and feet causes & treatment are discussed throughout this page

Spider vein on legs

What causes spider veins to appear on the legs and feet

Much like varicose veins, spider veins are caused by failing valves that allow blood to flow in the wrong direction and pool in the veins. They can appear like tiny webs beneath the skin, in red, blue or purple

This weakening of the venous valves can be caused by a number of reasons such as genetics, diet or a lack of exercise. Other common factors include age, exposure to cold weather and pregnancy, the latter of which we explain in detail further below

While they are often considered simply a cosmetic issue, spider veins on the legs can become painful, causing irritation, itching or even burning sensations if left untreated. They are also commonly considered unsightly and, if visible on the legs, ankles or feet, can lead to self-image problems

Can spider veins be prevented?

Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed way of preventing spider veins from appearing. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to both reduce your risk or stop them from worsening. These include changing a sedentary lifestyle, wearing compression stockings and not crossing your legs while sitting

It is important to keep in mind that, whilst these tips can help reduce the spread of spider veins, it's not possible to reverse their development without some form of treatment

You can learn more about spider vein prevention by reading this blog article

Best way to get rid of spider veins on the legs and feet

To treat thread veins in the lower extremities, we often combine the Veinwave technique with Micro Sclerotherapy. Both procedures are virtually painless, minimally invasive and deliver excellent results

Veinwave, also known as ‘Thermavein’, is a form of thermal coagulation where a precisely targeted source of heat is used to seal, collapse and gently remove the damaged veins. In contrast to other heat-based therapies, namely laser, Veinwave is proven to deliver better outcomes and is not associated with skin discolouration or damage

Microsclerotherapy is a similarly gentle technique. Here, unhealthy veins are permanently removed through the injection of a saline solution. This makes the vein wall collapse to stop blood flowing through it. The body will then naturally reabsorb the collapsed vein

Spider veins on the legs and pregnancy

Finding spider veins on the legs during pregnancy is incredibly common due to the increased strain on the mother’s heart from the extra weight. Naturally, the volume of blood within the body also increases to support the growing foetus

In the majority of cases, this is no cause for panic as they often go away on their own after childbirth. However, it is never a bad idea to seek a medical opinion just to be certain that your spider veins are attributed to pregnancy and not any underlying factors you might not be aware of

Get the expert assessment you need

Are you concerned about the appearance of the veins on your legs or feet? Have you been experiencing a painful or itchy sensation in that area? Discuss your situation with one of our vascular specialists at the UK Vein Clinic

Our treatments are available in our London Harley Street and Manchester Pall Mall clinics, both easily accessible from nearby cities and towns

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to treat spider veins on the legs and feet with natural remedies?

The short answer is no. Across the internet, in magazines and perhaps even on TV, you’ll come across many alternative remedies that claim to naturally stop spider veins from developing. These include apple cider vinegar, red wine, olive oil, witch hazel, among others

Such remedies are not backed by scientific evidence and any indication of success is purely anecdotal. If you’re unsure about any claim you happen to come across, we’ll be happy to give you guidance and assist you with finding the right solution for your spider veins

Do spider vein/varicose vein creams work?

Not quite. According to different medical journals, there is no conclusive evidence to support the efficacy of these over the counter creams in reducing and preventing vein disease. In some cases, a cream or ointment can provide some relief to spider vein symptoms such as pain, itchiness or a throbbing sensation. This doesn’t mean that they effectively work as a form of treatment

Can you tattoo over spider veins / thread veins?

Yes, in theory you can. However, it's not recommended because tattoos can increase the risk of infection and/or ulceration, which in turn can lead to further medical complications

Where to find us

We're pleased to be able to provide our world-class spider vein treatment in a variety of places throughout the United Kingdom. Learn more about your treatment options, including Microsclerotherapy and Veinwave treatment, at the clinic closest to you

London Harley Street

150 Harley Street, London W1G 7LQ

Manchester Pall Mall

61 King Street, Manchester M2 4PD