Plan Your Visit > FAQ
Our frequently asked questions.
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We're here to help. Our providers answer some of the most frequently asked questions below.
What is the main difference between arteries and veins?
In simple terms, arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the tissues, veins return oxygen-depleted blood to the heart.
What are the different types of veins in the leg?
Deep veins return blood directly to the heart and are in the center of the leg, near the bones. Superficial veins are closer to the surface and have less support from surrounding muscles and other tissues than the deep veins have.
Who usually has varicose veins and spider veins?
Many factors increase a person's chances of developing varicose or spider veins. These include:
- Increasing age
- Having family members with vein problems or being born with weak vein valves
- Hormonal changes. These occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Taking birth control pills and other medicines containing estrogen and progesterone also increase the risk of varicose or spider veins
- Pregnancy. During pregnancy there is a huge increase in the amount of blood in the body. This can cause veins to enlarge. The expanding uterus also puts pressure on the veins. Varicose veins usually improve within 3 months after delivery. A growing number of abnormal veins usually appear with each additional pregnancy
- Obesity, leg injury, prolonged standing and other things that weaken vein valves
- Sun exposure, which can cause spider veins on the cheeks or nose of a fair-skinned person
Why does it occur more in the legs?
Gravity. The distance from the feet to the heart is the furthest blood has to travel in the body. The vessels in the leg therefore experience the greatest back pressure, and if vein valves can’t hold it, the backflow of blood will cause the surface veins to swell.
How can I prevent varicose veins and spider veins?
Not all varicose and spider veins can be prevented. But some things can reduce your chances of getting new varicose and spider veins. These same things can help ease discomfort from the ones you already have:
- Wear Sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and to limit spider veins on the face.
- Exercise regularly to improve your leg strength, circulation, and vein strength. Focus on exercises that work your legs, such as walking or running.
- Control your weight to avoid placing too much pressure on your legs.
- Do not cross your legs when sitting.
- Elevate your legs when resting as much as possible.
- Do not stand or sit for long periods of time. If you must stand for a long time, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes. If you must sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk every 30 minutes.
- Wear elastic support stockings and avoid tight clothing that constricts your waist, groin, or legs.
- Eat a low-salt diet rich in high-fiber foods. Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation that can contribute to varicose veins. High fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, like bran. Eating too much salt can cause you to retain water or swell.