• International

  • English Version EN

Spider veins

Information relating to spider veins

Spider veins are tiny varicose veins. In Germany, approximately 60% of the adult population* has spider veins, and most of these people consider them to be unsightly. We will explain the symptoms, causes, treatment options and preventative measures – ensuring Freedom in Motion.

* E. Rabe, et al.: Bonn Vein Study conducted by the German Society of Phlebology. In: Phlebologie. (Phlebology) Volume 32, 2003, pp. 1-14. 

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are tiny veins that are situated in the epidermis and are clearly visible. Typical symptoms include a light red to dark blue colouring. Spider veins are usually limited to a small area (of a few centimetres) around the feet and legs, more frequently around the ankles, on the outside of the thigh and at the back of the knee, and occasionally around the ribs or in the chest area. Their name comes from the fact that they have an appearance similar to a spiderweb. In a medical context, spider veins are a type of varicose veins. They are therefore also known as spider varicose veins.  

Spider veins are caused by venous micro-valves that no longer close properly. Although they can sometimes be a first sign of another venous disorder, they are not regarded as a disease in the medical sense if they are not accompanied by another underlying condition of the venous system in the legs. Spider veins usually do not cause pain or other serious symptoms. However, those affected are often troubled by them for aesthetic reasons.

How do spider veins develop?

Spider veins are visible dilations of thin veins caused by the connective tissue of the vascular wall expanding. This dilation can have many causes. Genetics can play a part, but there are also other preventable risk factors caused by lifestyle.

Causes of spider veins

Tip: During pregnancy, you can use compression stockings to combat “water retention” but also to prevent spider veins.

How are spider veins diagnosed?

Spider veins are visible to the naked eye. In addition to a medical history being taken and existing risk factors being determined, a physical examination performed by a specialist is sufficient to diagnose spider veins. The doctor will mainly observe, listen and palpate. Duplex sonography can help to rule out conditions of the deeper venous system. 

Spider veins

How can I prevent spider veins?

Although spider veins are often genetic, there are some things you can do to treat them. You can prevent spider veins altogether, or at least stop them from spreading, by improving the elasticity of the venous walls and promoting unobstructed blood flow.


Preventative measures

  • Everyday activities  (e.g. climbing the stairs, going for a walk, lifting the toes and heels when sitting)
  • Exercise  (in particular swimming, cycling, hiking)
  • Vein exercises
  • A healthy diet (balanced diet high in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Maintaining adequate hydration
  • Avoiding being overweight
  • Suitable clothing (avoiding constriction, wearing flat shoes with a soft sole, sometimes going barefoot)
  • Contrast baths
  • Treating high blood pressure
  • Elevating the legs
  • Compression stockings for people susceptible to spider veins
  • Avoiding prolonged sun exposure


How do compression stockings help in cases of spider veins?

Vein with compression


The gentle pressure from the outside counteracts the internal pressure exerted on the vascular walls. This reduces the risk of the vein expanding. Compression stockings provide the vessels with support from the outside. In addition, circulation in the leg veins is improved, preventing congestion and localised accumulation of blood. Although existing spider veins cannot be reduced by compression therapy, this treatment can often prevent the condition deteriorating. Consistent compression therapy is essential in all more advanced stages of this condition.

Three women in the city. They all wear compression stockings

Juzo Inspiration

Lifestyle combined with an elegant design.

Friends in a café. Some of them are wearing compression stockings.

Juzo Soft

Super soft for feel good moments.

What can be done about spider veins?

If these fine varicose veins are not an indication of problems in the deeper venous system but are perceived as a nuisance for cosmetic reasons, there are two methods for removing spider veins.

Before spider veins can be removed, a duplex sonography is necessary. During removal, any feeder veins which supply blood to the spider veins must also be treated. Otherwise, new spider veins will often develop nearby. In cases of sclerotherapy or laser treatment, the final result will become apparent only after a few weeks. 

Please note: Spider veins are a purely cosmetic problem. Health insurance providers therefore generally do not cover the cost of their removal.

What do I need to bear in mind after spider vein removal?

The spider veins have finally gone – now there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure an ideal outcome.


  • Avoid intense light and heat
    After laser treatment or sclerotherapy, the skin will initially be quite sensitive, especially to light. Avoid direct sunlight in the first 4-6 weeks. Hot baths or going to a sauna are not recommended in the first few days either.
  • Compression
    After sclerotherapy of spider veins in particular, the use of compression products is highly recommended for up to four weeks. Pressure promotes the adhesion of the vascular walls and the break-down of tissue strands that are no longer used.
  • Gentle exercise
    Strenuous exercise should be avoided in the first few days because of the increasing pressure in the blood vessels. Going for a walk, however, is explicitly recommended.
  • Elevate your legs
    During the first few days, you should elevate your legs frequently to relieve them.


Even if you follow all the advice, there is no guarantee that the spider veins won’t return – especially if you have a genetic predisposition or the feeder veins have not been treated.


Home remedies for spider veins

In addition to removing spider veins, home remedies are also used, but the effectiveness of these has not been proven scientifically. Creams, gels, apple cider vinegar, carrots, garlic or rosemary offer at best only minor relief. Exercise and contrast showers also cannot remove existing spider veins, but they can prevent them from developing. People wanting to occasionally hide their spider veins can use waterproof concealers and make-up.

Other conditions