Spider veins are small, thin veins that lie close to the surface of the skin. These thin clusters of red, blue or purple veins are connected with the larger venous system, but are not an essential part of it. Spider veins are commonly found on the thighs, calves and ankles. They can cover either a very small or very large area of skin.

The cause of spider veins is not completely known, but it appears to run in families. Spider veins appear in both men and women, but women more frequently.

Factors Contributing to Spider Veins

  • Heredity
  • Pregnancy
  • Other events that cause hormonal shifts
  • Weight gain
  • Occupations or activities that require prolonged sitting or standing
  • The use of certain medications


Sclerotherapy Is the most common treatment for spider veins. The treatment consists of injecting a solution, into the vein that causes the vein walls to swell, stick together, and seal shut. This stops the flow of blood and the vein turns into scar tissue. In a few weeks, the vein should fade. The same vein may need to be treated more than once.

This treatment is very effective. Most patients can expect a 50% to 90% improvement. Sclerotherapy uses special solutions and injection techniques that increase the success rate for removal of spider veins. Sclerotherapy does not require anesthesia, and can be done in office.