Visible leg veins are enlarged superficial veins that are often red, blue, purple or flesh-colored. The veins range from mild spider veins to more pronounced varicose veins. The spider veins on the legs look like treaded fine lines or a spider web, while the varicose veins are larger and bulkier and often protrude through the skin.
What Causes Leg Veins?
Spider veins and varicose veins on legs are primarily caused by venous insufficiency- a condition whereby poor blood flow creates a pooling of blood in the veins. Varicose veins symptoms include aching, throbbing, fatigue and heaviness. With age, the veins lose their elasticity and begin to stretch, while the valves within the veins weaken and allow blood to flow backwards. Additional factors besides aging include heredity, pregnancy, hormonal shifts, weight gain and occupations or activities that require prolonged sitting or standing.
Who Suffers From Visible Leg Veins?
Visible leg veins are a very common skin condition. Varicose veins and spider veins develop more often in women than men and increase in frequency with age. 8% of women and 1% of men aged 20-24 have visible leg veins, compared to 41% of women and 24% of men aged 40-49. . Thus, almost half the women population and a quarter of the population of men suffer from visible leg veins.