Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Spider Veins Are Unsightly but Pose No Medical Threat

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Spider Veins Are Unsightly but Pose No Medical Threat

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: What is the most effective treatment for veins on my legs?

Dear Reader: Superficial leg veins, sometimes called "spider veins," occur when tiny veins appear just below the surface of the skin, causing red, blue or purple discolorations. Spider veins get their name from the shape of the discolorations.

Spider veins are a sign that there are abnormalities in the deeper veins of the legs. Those deep veins have little valves in them. Blood in the veins of the legs is returning from the legs to the heart. When we are sitting or standing, gravity is pulling the blood downward, away from the heart. The valves prevent gravity from doing that.

As we get older, the valves become less effective. The extra blood that gravity pulls down into the leg veins causes the pressure in the veins to rise. …

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