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Spider Veins and Pregnancy


Categories  |  Spider Veins

Pregnancy has an enormous impact on how your body works. Some of these changes can affect your appearance. Spider veins can be quite common during pregnancy. Fortunately, the effects of spider veins can be reversed with relative ease and with very little pain.

Are Spider Veins Normal During Pregnancy?

Spider veins are extremely common during pregnancy. It’s estimated that 30 to 40 percent of women develop spider veins while they are pregnant. Even more surprisingly, 80-90% of women with a parent with spider veins will develop spider veins during pregnancy.

What Causes Spider Veins During Pregnancy?

There are couple of reasons that spider veins develop during pregnancy. One is that the uterus grows in size during pregnancy. This adds pressure to the veins that return blood from the legs. This added pressure causes blood to pool in these veins, which can cause varicose and spider veins. Another reason is that the body increases production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones cause veins to dilate, or open, and thus become visible. 

How Can I Prevent Spider Veins While Pregnant?

There are several techniques that you can use to reduce the effects of spider veins before, during, and after pregnancy. The first, and most important, is to maintain your recommended weight during pregnancy. Support stockings (compression stockings) can also be worn to help reduce the effects of spider veins and postpartum spider veins because they promote healthy blood flow and help eliminate swelling. Also, try to elevate your legs above your heart whenever you can and avoid sitting with your legs crossed.

These simple techniques can and often do help prevent spider veins or reduce their severity. There is no guarantee, however, that you won’t develop spider veins during pregnancy. If you do, there are tried-and-true treatments that will eliminate spider veins and return your skin’s youthful appearance.

What Are Some Treatments for Spider Veins?

The most common treatment for spider veins is sclerotherapy. In this procedure, the leg is elevated to drain the blood form the vein. A sclerosant is then injected to damage the inside of the vein. This causes the vein to close and disappear. Another common treatment for spider veins is laser therapy. The laser is used to penetrate the vein under the skin. Its heat coagulates the blood and causes the vein to collapse and seal. Over the course of the next few weeks, the vein is absorbed by the tissue surrounding it and disappears.

Spider veins and varicose veins are extremely common during and after pregnancy, especially in women who have a parent with this problem. There are simple steps that you can take to prevent them or reduce their severity. Of course, spider veins will still appear in many cases. When this occurs, there are treatments available to eliminate unsightly veins. Talk to your dermatologist or contact The Vein Clinic in Riverton or Ogden for more information. Our experienced providers will explain the various options for treatment and determine which one is right for you.