Small leg veins might be highly common, but that doesn’t stop them being an embarrassing issue, especially for women. Small leg veins, also known as spider veins, are very fine and can appear as short unconnected lines or in a tell-tale spiderweb pattern. They are typically a red or bluish colour.
Small leg veins are rarely a serious health problem, but they may cause uncomfortable feelings in the legs, such as itching or burning. Occasionally, the veins can be a sign of blood backup deeper inside.
While small leg veins cannot be prevented as such, they can be treated. The large majority of spider veins are not needed for healthy blood circulation and so can be effectively and safely eliminated with non-surgical procedures, such as sclerotherapy.
There are lots of reasons superficial leg veins can develop. The most common cause is genetics, but women can also get them after pregnancy or if they have a career with long periods of standing, such as hairdressing or teaching. Certain lifestyle choices can also increase your risk, such as smoking, obesity and hormonal birth control.