Spider veins are tiny, branching blood vessels near the surface of the skin that can show up on your face, neck, upper chest and arms during pregnancy. Although you’ve always had them, they appear more prominent during pregnancy because of the extra blood circulating through your body.
But pregnancy isn’t the only time spider veins may show up. They are also caused by standing for long periods of time and wearing high-heeled shoes; and women who take oral contraceptives, as well as those who are overweight or have diabetes or heart disease are also more likely to develop them. And, unfortunately, some women are just genetically predisposed to get them. In fact, up to 70 percent of adult women develop spider veins – nearly four times as often as men.
If they run in your family, there may be little you can do to prevent spider veins; however, you can decrease your chances of getting them by including enough vitamin C in your diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and not crossing your legs when sitting for long periods of time. And if they do snake their way across your skin and don’t disappear after delivery (as most do), a few laser treatments can zap any remaining veins.