Where do spider veins come from? The simple answer is from genes! There is a known genetic predisposition to developing varicose veins or spider veins. Simply put, if your mother (or father) had spider veins, you stand a good chance of getting them as well!
Certainly, not every child of a parent who has problem veins is going to develop them so there must be some other factors involved, right? Of course! Nothing is ever simple and straightforward.
At the Vein Institute of New Jersey our vascular doctors are constantly asked, “Why do my legs look and feel like my mother’s legs when my sister or brother have perfect legs?” The answer typically involves two elements: Genetics and Environment. While we talked about the gene factor, your everyday life has a great deal to do in determining if you will develop varicose and spider veins.
For example, there is an association between pregnancy and varicose veins. Women who have been pregnant (and have the genetic or familial tendency) are more likely to get these vein conditions than women who have not had children. This effect seems to be the result of hormonal influence rather than the added weight of pregnancy. This is much the same explanation as to why women are more likely to develop spider veins and varicose veins than their brothers.
Additionally, women who spend a great deal of time on their feet are more likely to develop varicose or spider veins than those who are more sedentary. This is an important environmental factor that can cause spider veins or varicose veins. Vein problems seem to occur more often in people who stand in one place for prolonged periods of time, like a surgeon or a hairdresser. In these situations, blood is not pumped out of the leg as frequently as compared to a person who is walking.
Understanding why you developed the spider (telangiectasia) or varicose vein may satisfy your curiosity but it will not, unfortunately, make the veins go away! To learn more about how to improve your leg appearance and remove unsightly veins, schedule an appointment with one of our vascular doctors who can go over treatment options with you.