Misconceptions About Spider Veins

Misconceptions About Spider Veins

Let’s begin by clearing up some very common misconceptions and myths about spider veins.

They are not broken blood vessels. They are not dead blood vessels.

They are not caused by walking on hard floors or concrete. They are not caused by high blood pressure. They are not caused by walking in high heels or smoking. However, smoking definitely does cause disease in the other blood vessels in the circulation, the arteries. Blockage of the arteries causes heart attack, stroke, and can lead to gangrene in the toes and legs.

But probably the most commonly believed myth is that spider and varicose veins are caused by crossing your legs. Because spider veins occur on the legs anatomically at the spot where the legs are crossed is no doubt how this falsehood got started. The belief that leg crossing acts like a tourniquet is wrong. The fact is that any increase in pressure in your veins caused by crossing your legs would be negligible. If you already have spider or varicose veins, leg crossing will not make them worse. So if you’ve been uncrossing your legs to avoid this problem, your actions are (pardon the pun) in vain.

Most people know support stockings will not cure varicose or spider veins. Nor will wearing compression stockings slow the rate of progression of spider and varicose veins. There are no good controlled studies to support either of these views. Consultation and treatment by a specialist in venous disease is the key to ridding your legs of unwanted veins.

About The Author

Dr. John Happel

Dr. John Happel has been in practice as a surgeon since 1986 in the Pittsburgh region. He specializes in vascular surgery and has subspecialized in the treatment of varicose and spider veins since 1999. Dr. Happel is board certified in vascular surgery and recertified in vascular surgery in 2012. He was chosen in 1985 to fulfill the position for the vascular surgical fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic.