Spider veins, also referred to as thread veins, are small, thin veins that can appear on the surface of the legs or face. Spider veins vary in colour and look like thin webs or branches. Spider veins are caused by unhealthy valves in feeder veins, which allows for blood to flow backwards, rather than upwards towards the heart. Some of the blood that has backed up can lead to non-functional “dead end” veins that appear beneath the surface of the skin as spider veins.
Spider veins on the face are usually due to tiny blood vessels bursting, increased pressure or sun damage. Although spider veins may cause some discomfort, they are usually painless. There are many factors that increase a person’s risk of getting spider veins. These include genetics, pregnancy, being overweight, smoking, hormones, sun exposure and standing for a long time.
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