Spider Veins

Spider veins are a network of small, colored veins that often appear on the legs, feet, or face and easily can be seen through the skin's surface. These thin red, blue, and purple veins may twist and turn, sometimes forming a web-like shape beneath the skin. A backup of blood can cause spider veins to form, as can injury, exposure to the sun, and changes in hormone levels.

Spider veins are related to varicose veins, both of which are swollen blood vessels visible through the skin. Varicose veins usually are much larger and often raised or knotted. Although any vein has the potential to become swollen, or varicose, they are most often seen in the lower extremities, especially the feet and legs. This is due to the increased pressure on these veins from walking and standing, or from a lack of movement related to a sedentary lifestyle. Those who are obese or have occupations that require prolonged walking or standing are most susceptible to developing varicose or spider veins. Other contributing factors include pregnancy (because of hormonal changes), the use of certain medications (including birth control pills), and trauma or injuries. Spider veins also can be hereditary, especially if there is a family history of blood clots. Age is another contributing factor, as veins become weaker and thinner as a person gets older.


Whether you are looking for treatment for spider and varicose veins or a more complex vein problem, The UAB Vein Clinic offers comprehensive evaluation, specialized treatment, and compassionate care for the health of your veins.

As central Alabama’s premier comprehensive vein center, The UAB Vein Clinic provides state-of-the-art cosmetic, minimally-invasive, and surgical treatments by vascular specialists and medical experts who are specialty trained in vein disease.

The clinic, located at UAB Hospital-Highlands, provides outpatient care, while more intensive treatment is provided at UAB Hospital. The UAB Vein Clinic is part of the larger UAB Vein Program. As the only program of its kind in the state, the UAB Vein Program is designed to care for a wide range of venous problems.

When you choose UAB Medicine to care for your vein condition, you gain instant access to physicians who are leaders in the most complex vascular conditions and offer the latest in cutting-edge treatment options. 








UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for spider veins. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials