Spider Veins In Your 20s and 30s: The Essential Handbook

young woman legs

Table of Contents

  • What Are Spider Veins?
  • Why Young People Get Spider Veins
  • Home Treatment Options for Spider Veins
  • Medical Treatment for Spider Veins

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins, also called telangiectasias or thread veins, are small clusters of veins that show up on your skin. While they aren’t harmful, they may be unsightly, particularly if they’re in a visible spot like the face or chest. 

The most common locations for spider veins are on the face, legs, or ankles. They often appear in clusters, with thin veins branching out from a center point. Spider veins get their name from the spiderlike appearance of these clusters. They may be raised or flat. 

They seldom cause discomfort, but some people do report itching, burning, or cramps and fatigue in affected legs. The main concern with spider veins is how they look. They can be unsightly and distracting, especially when they’re on the face. 

Why Young People Get Spider Veins

Spider veins can appear at any age. While they’re most common in older adults (41% of women over 50 years have spider veins), people can get spider veins in their 20s and 30s as well.1 

One potential cause of spider veins in younger people is hormones. The hormone changes associated with puberty and early adulthood can lead to spider veins. The use of hormonal birth control pills can also trigger hormonal changes that lead to spider veins. Pregnancy is another culprit. Spider veins and varicose veins are common side effects of pregnancy, thanks to hormone changes, weight gain, and pressure from the womb that affect blood flow in the lower body.

Certain physical activities can also lead to spider veins. Jobs that require long hours of standing or sitting can cause vein damage in the legs, which leads to spider veins or varicose veins. 

Other causes of spider veins include: 

  • Family history: Spider veins can be hereditary. If your parents or other close relatives have spider veins, you may be prone to them too. Some studies show that 90% of people with spider veins also have family members with spider veins.2 
  • Diet: A diet that promotes high levels of cholesterol in the blood can clog your veins.3 This narrows the internal width of the veins, which can increase pressure inside the passage. The pressure can result in vein damage and visible veins.
  • Lifestyle: Certain lifestyle factors can increase your risk of spider veins. Being sedentary, smoking, prolonged sun exposure, or excess exposure to heat can all affect vein health.4 
  • Obesity: Excess body weight can increase the pressure on your legs, leading to vein damage in your legs and feet. This can increase your risk of developing spider veins.5
  • Other vein problems: If you have a history of other vein issues such as varicose veins, blood clots in your legs, or deep vein thrombosis, you are at a higher risk of developing spider veins.6

Home Treatment Options for Spider Veins

There are some lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of spider veins, including:

  • Healthy diet: A diet rich in colorful fruits can veggies can provide bioflavonoids that improve vein health.7 Plant-based foods are also a good source of fiber, which aids digestion and helps optimize blood flow in the gut and elimination of waste from your body.8 
  • Exercise: Staying active can improve blood flow all over your body. Healthy circulation can reduce the risk of developing spider veins. 
  • Gradient compression stockings: Gradient compression stockings provide gentle pressure on your feet and legs, which helps blood keep moving in the direction of the heart. These are especially helpful if you spend long hours on your feet. The stockings can offset some of the effects of gravity, which makes blood more likely to pool in your feet and legs.9 
  • Comfortable clothing: When possible, wear clothing that isn’t tight or binding. Clothing that is tight around the waist and hips can affect blood flow from the lower body to the heart, leading to vein damage in the legs.10 

Medical Treatment for Spider Veins

If lifestyle changes don’t prevent spider veins, you can see a vein specialist for treatment. There are several safe, effective procedures that can manage spider veins for people of any age:

  • Sclerotherapy: Sclerotherapy involves injecting a liquid or foam solution directly into the affected vein. The solution irritates the interior of the vein, causing it to close. The body reroutes the blood to nearby veins without any adverse effects. The body will reabsorb the treated vein until it can no longer be seen.11 
  • Laser treatment: Lasers can effectively eliminate the appearance of spider veins that are less than 3 millimeters in size and sit close to the surface of the skin. Your vein specialist will aim the laser at the area to be treated, sending a pulse of light that will destroy the vein. The treated vein may look darker before it fades entirely.
  • Ohmic thermolysis: Ohmic thermolysis procedures use microwave or microburst energy to deliver controlled bursts of heat to spider veins using a tiny needle. The heat causes the veins to collapse and close off. The blood is rerouted to a different, healthier vein. The collapsed spider vein gets reabsorbed and disappears.12 

Spider vein treatment is not covered by insurance. The effects of spider veins are aesthetic, so treatment is considered elective. 

If you have spider veins, no matter how old or young you are, a vein specialist can help you treat them. If you want to find a doctor to discuss your vein health, My Vein Treatment can help. Using our locator tool will help you find a specialist in your area. They can answer all your questions and help you decide which vein treatments might be right for you.


  1. Aesthetic Surgery Journal: “A Novel Approach for the Treatment of Spider Veins.
  2. InformedMed.org: “What is cholesterol, and how does arteriosclerosis develop?”
  3. My Vein Treatment: “What Causes Spider Veins? 10 Risk Factors to Know.
  4. My Vein Treatment: “What Causes Spider Veins? 10 Risk Factors to Know.
  5. My Vein Treatment: “What Causes Spider Veins? 10 Risk Factors to Know.
  6. My Vein Treatment: “Nutrition for Healthy Veins: The Surprising Role Diet Can Play.”
  7. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: “Fiber.”
  8. My Vein Treatment: “Home Remedies for Spider Veins: Safety, Tips + More.
  9. My Vein Treatment: “Home Remedies for Spider Veins: Safety, Tips + More.
  10. My Vein Treatment: “Home Remedies for Spider Veins: Safety, Tips + More.
  11. My Vein Treatment: “Sclerotherapy Treatment: How Does It Work, and Is It Right for You?
  12. My Vein Treatment: “Are There Any Veinwave Treatment Side Effects? A Quick Guide.

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