Leg vessels may be hereditary or as a result of a variety of factors including occupations that involve a lot of standing, obesity and hormonal influences such as pregnancy or menopause. The over use of steroid creams and certain auto immune conditions may also cause leg veins. Often the exact cause is unknown and may just be part of the natural ageing process.
- Spider veins - also called telangiectasia, are small, fine veins that exist close to the surface of the skin. These thin veins are connected to the larger venous system but are not needed for normal circulation. Spider veins are often caused by pregnancy, hormonal changes, weight gain, professions or activities that require prolonged sitting or standing, certain medications, or genetics (family history).
- Varicose veins - are gnarled, enlarged veins, which may be dark purple or blue in color, and have a twisting or bulging cord-like appearance. While they are not usually painful, varicose veins may sometimes cause achy or heavy feeling in the legs, a burning or pain sensation after extended sitting or standing, swelling, or an itching feeling.