Am I developing spider veins and if so how can I prevent them from getting worse? (Photo)

The veins at the back of my knee have become more noticeable in the past year and they also get painful sometimes. They look thinner. Sometimes during the day my legs feel kind of tense (like a nervous feeling) and they seem to get worsw if I sit on my legs or if I stay in the same position for long periods. My mum has quite a lot of spider veins/ burst cappilaries on her legs and near her feet and so does my grandad so theres a chance ive inherited that. Im not overweight and about 5'9 tall

Doctor Answers 5

Symptomatic reticular veins

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The veins you are concerned about are enlarged reticular veins. They represent a sign of a condition called "superficial venous insufficiency", typical symptoms of which you are describing: heaviness, tiredness etc. after prolonged standing and even sitting. Our heart pumps the blood through the arteries, but the leg muscles move upstream our venous blood. That is why motionless vertical position would be the worst for you. To correctly address this problem, you need to undergo an evaluation first, depending on results of which, you will have several treatment options, none of which will be sclerotherapy of the veins on the photo. Your life style has no negative impact on their development. You might start experiencing soon muscle cramps at night or restless leg syndrome (difficulties finding comfortable position in the bed while trying to fall asleep). Hope it help!

Blue (reticular) veins

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What your picture depicts are called blue or reticular veins.  These are not spider or varicose veins but are veins in size between spiders and varicose veins.  Many times they are normal veins which can be more prominent in fair skinned people. I doubt that your symptoms would be due to these veins.  There is a strong genetic component to developing these veins and, if they continue to worse, then you may want to see a vein specialist for a venous evaluation.  Sclerotherapy may be a good choice to treat these.  Support stockings may also help.

John Landi, MD
Naples General Surgeon

Leg veins

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Legs veins can be genetic and may become noticeable as early as the teenage years.From the photo, you seem to have just a few small veins that don't necessarily need to be treated at this time.Even very small spider leg veins can cause discomfort. I often suggest to my patients that thet wear support hose, 20-30 mmHg, and oftentimes, this relieves the aching that can be associated with leg veins. Support hose may also prevent the development of new veins, so ask your physican for a prescription for support hose, unless their are any contradictions to wearing them. I usually advise women to wear them thruout their pregnancies, as this is a time that can cause veins to develop or worsen!

Gail Nield, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist

Prevention of Spider, Reticular and Varicose Veins

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I recommend 2 formulas - one called Veinamins that is escin based and the other is a Bioflavonoid formula called Varicosamin. You can read ebooks about horse chestnut extract (escin) and a book about bioflavonoids for venous insufficiency on my website. You can order these products online. 

Preventing Spider Veins | Reticular Veins Normal

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Thank you for your question.

Laser treatment would be good for spider veins but not reticular veins.

For achy legs when you are on your feet all day, sometime compression stockings can help.

To be sure you don't have more serious venous insufficiency going on or a leg clot, see two or more board certified and experienced vascular or general surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.