Spider veins are the tiny veins- usually purple, red, or blue in color- that sometimes appear in superficial layer of the skin (the epidermis). As the name implies, the individual veins emanating out from a central cluster can resemble the legs of a spider.
Spider veins eventually present themselves in approximately 70 percent of adult females, and a smaller percentage of males. Many people view them as simply a cosmetic problem. But in about two-thirds of the cases, spider veins are responsible for some degree of medical discomfort or disability.
The most common symptoms associated with spider veins are pain, burning, heaviness, itching, stinging, swelling, restlessness, and fatigue in the legs. People with spider veins also run a somewhat higher risk of suffering from superficial thrombophlebitis in their legs over the course of their lifetime. Therefore, the majority of spider vein treatments address both medical and cosmetic concerns.
Many patients seek spider vein treatments strictly for cosmetic reasons. After treatment, however, they are often amazed at how much lighter, fresher and more energetic their legs feel. They are surprised to learn that the chronic heaviness and fatigue in their legs that they had unconsciously lived with for so long was in fact abnormal and not a necessary result of the aging process.