Spider veins: Do they increase the risk of blood clots?

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Spider veins: Do they increase the risk of blood clots?

Question

Does having spider veins increase the risk of blood clots in my legs?

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Answer

Spider veins do not increase your risk of blood clots and generally are not a health concern. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are much smaller. Spider veins are blue or red and typically appear on the legs and face.

Although spider veins do not cause blood clots, varicose veins occasionally lead to blood clots in superficial veins (superficial thrombophlebitis). This results in a hard, red, tender cord just under the surface of your skin. However, these superficial clots are not as dangerous as blood clots that develop deep in the leg (deep vein thrombosis), which can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism).

Spider veins

Spider veins

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are much smaller. They're often red or blue and appear closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Spider veins resemble spider webs with their short, jagged lines.

Last Updated: 04/03/2006
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