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What causes thread veins?

Thread veins

Capillaries (the smallest blood vessels throughout your body) which have very thin walls can easily become damaged, and this is what causes thread veins. Also, if your blood vessel loses its elasticity, it can cause thread veins (also known as spider veins). In this comprehensive guide, you will find some of the most common causes of thread veins:


Women tend to develop thread veins more than men because of hormonal fluctuations. For example, pregnancy causes a lot of stress on your blood vessels around the pelvic area, which increases your chances for thread veins. Women who get pregnant more than once tend to be more susceptible to thread veins. Usually the thread veins disappear gone after childbirth.


Getting older is one of the most common reasons for the emergence of spider veins. As you age, the skin gets thinner and more damage prone. There is less fatty tissue under your skin, which means that your blood vessels will show more because they are closer to the skin’s surface. Also, your blood vessels get a lot of wear and tear over the years, which can lead to spider veins. They usually appear when people reach middle age or older.


If you live a fairly sedentary lifestyle (meaning you sit around and do nothing a lot) you’re far more likely to get thread veins. If you sit while crossing your legs, it can cause constriction of your circulation, which means it’s very likely that the blood pools on your veins, causing swelling.

Also, if you are quite overweight, it can cause thread veins because you’re carrying extra weight. The weight puts pressure on your veins and weakens them faster, and might also interfere with blood flow.

the_ryder_clinic_laser_hair_2Alcohol consumption

If you drink a lot of alcohol, it can cause thread veins on your face. When you consume alcohol, it causes your blood vessels to dilate. Also, if you drink heavily for long periods of time, it can cause the collagen in your skin to weaken. This means that your veins stay open and receive more blood flow there. This can explain redness in the face which is stereotypical of alcoholics.


Various types of injuries can affect your veins. For example, fractures can cause your circulation to be blocked. Incurring an injury also means that you are less mobile, leading to a more sedentary lifestyle, which as stated above, can increase the chances of thread veins.


While undergoing chemotherapy can effectively treat cancer, it can also cause a lot of damage to your entire body. Chemotherapy treatment basically ‘poisons’ the body so that any tumours can be weakened or completely eliminated. This obviously puts a lot of stress on your body, which means that capillaries and veins tend to get weakened and damaged.

Liver disease or stomach tumours

These serious medical illnesses can block normal blood flow to and from the heart. Any irregularities or blockages like these weaken the veins. For tumours, they tend to grow their own blood vessels in order to get nutrients so they can keep growing. Angiogenesis (which means the process where tumours grow) places a lot of pressure on your blood vessels, which tends to block circulation throughout your body.

If you’re concerned about spider veins, contact us for advice on what thread vein treatments are available at The Ryder Clinic, St Albans, Hertfordshire.

The Ryder Clinic

We offer laser skin treatments to counter the effects of ageing without injections or invasive procedures.