Does crossing your legs give you spider veins?

The answer is no. A spider vein is a broken capillary, less than 1 mm in diameter, located just below the surface of the skin or sometimes in the dermis itself. By age 50, half of all women have them.

Spider veins, also called telangectasia, are usually from 0.5 to 1 mm in width and are found also on the cheeks, nose, and chin. Spider veins are largely hereditary, especially those in the legs and thighs. If they afflict the females in your family, be on the lookout for early signs like tiny blue, red or purple dilated capillaries. While there is nothing one can do to avoid them if they are in your genetic history, you can slow down their development. Pregnancy, birth control pills and hormone replacement therapies can be triggers, but so can lack of exercise, prolonged sitting or standing and excess body weight. If standing long hours is part of your occupation, support hose can be very helpful.

At Finger & Associates and New Youth Medical Spa we offer two options for treatment of those found on the legs and thighs. The first is sclerotherapy in which a substance (we do not use concentrated saline as it works poorly and is painful) is injected directly into the capillary with a fine needle. This works well for patches of capillaries. Our Laser Genesis and/or IPL lasers work well for individual capillaries. Often a combination of the sclerotherapy and lasers are needed, and often several treatments are necessary if a patient has a large number of spider veins. For those on the nose, cheeks and around the nose, we may use the IPL (intense pulse light) or Laser Genesis or coagulation with a tiny needle, all of which are very beneficial.

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