What causes Varicose, Spider, and Reticular Veins?

Vein disease is very common, and in this article we will address the causes and symptoms of venous disease, in particular, varicose and spider veins, as well as the treatments available.

Causes of Varicose, Spider, and Reticular Veins

The main purpose of veins is to return blood from your body to your heart, so blood can be recirculated. Healthy veins have one-way valves that keep blood travelling in the direction towards the heart. For reasons that we don’t know the valves can fail. This usually occurs in the legs. This in turn allows for sluggish circulation in the involved veins. This leads to internal pressure and swelling, which causes the noticeably enlarged usually blue or red coloured veins at the skin surface.

While the direct cause of varicose veins is uncertain and anyone is at risk of developing them, there are certain factors that seem to increase this risk.  

These risk factors include:  

  • Family history of varicose veins and/or blood clots
  • Pregnancy can result in enlarged veins in your legs partially due to an increase in the volume of blood in your body  
  • Obesity or being overweight can place added pressure on your veins
  • Standing or sitting for prolonged periods. As your blood doesn’t flow as well if you’re in the same position for a long period of time.  
  • Women are also more likely to develop varicose, reticular or spider
  • Ageing.


It is hard to completely prevent varicose veins. But in order to reduce the risk it is important to improve your circulation and muscle tone. The same methods that you take to treat the discomfort caused by varicose veins can be applied to help prevent them. This includes: – exercising – maintaining a healthy weight – eating a high-fiber, low salt diet – avoiding high heels and tight hosiery – elevating your legs, and alternating you sitting or standing position regularly.

Signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Pain
  • Ache
  • Restless legs
  • Itching
  • “Heavy” legs
  • Ankle swelling
  • Skin discolouration
  • Ulcers

In comparison to varicose veins, spider veins are smaller. They are found closer to the surface of the skin and are often red or blue in colour. They get their name Spider veins because they often look like a spider’s web.  

Which specialist do I see?

The causes and forms of varicose veins varies from person to person, therefore, it is important to seek uation from a vein specialist.

At Specialist Vein Care, Dr Ivor Berman (link) is a Phlebologist (Vein specialist) and Radiologist, who provides state of the art techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of vein disease, including Varicose, Reticular and Spider veins.  


It is worth considering booking an appointment with Specialised Vein Care when self-care techniques such as exercise, lifting your legs while sitting and/or wearing compression stockings have not worked or even for aesthetic improvement.

We offer different treatments depending on your diagnosis, such as Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA), Ambulatory Phlebectomy (AP), Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS),Glue(Cyanoacrylate), Microsclerotherapy and Conservative treatment. (links)

To make an appointment today to have your venous disease assessed by Dr Berman, please phone (03) 9561 5155.

Comments are closed.

Recent Posts


Specialist Vein Care in Melbourne
provides state of the art techniques in the diagnosis & treatment of varicose & spider vein diseases