Spider veins are broken blood vessels that are visible through the skin, appearing like a spiderweb of red, blue or purple lines. They are smaller and closer to the surface than varicose veins, so usually they have less serious implications, and are more of an aesthetic concern than a health one.
Sometimes, however, spider veins can be symptomatic of diseases of the liver, connective tissue, immune system or other parts of the body. If you have many spider veins appearing, especially if they are in conjunction with other symptoms, this may indicate a disorder deeper than the skin. It is in your best interests to pay attention to spider veins and have them checked by a professional.
Liver to Blood to Vein
The liver is responsible for many aspects of the chemical balance of the body. This includes detoxifying blood. Because this organ is so highly involved in regulating the chemistry of the blood, a dysfunction in the liver can create a dysfunction in the blood pressure and levels of circulating hormones, which manifests as spider veins.
Fatty Liver Disease
It pays to keep an eye out for spider veins, because if the underlying cause is fatty liver disease, it is often one of the first symptoms to appear. If you are experiencing spider veins, book a consultation to have them checked as soon as possible.
Fat builds up in the liver of people with fatty liver disease. This could progress to the more advanced stage of liver disease, cirrhosis, characterised by scarring of the liver tissue. As liver function is affected, so is hormone regulation. One of the consequences is disruption to the body’s ability to control levels of oestrogen and testosterone, driving the build-up of oestrogen in the liver.
As a hormone with wide-ranging effects across the body, this affects the vasculature and causes spider veins to form across the shoulders, back and face. As well as spider veins, you may experience other symptoms such as red, dry or itchy skin, fatigue and loss of appetite.
Autoimmune hepatitis can also cause spider veins. Though much rarer than fatty liver disease, it can have serious consequences, so if you are experiencing the symptoms, have them checked by a professional.
The disease is characterised by your own immune system attacking the liver. Like many other autoimmune disorders, autoimmune hepatitis mostly affects women in their twenties and thirties. A genetic predisposition to autoimmune disorders can be triggered by risk factors such as certain viral infections, drugs and toxins.
Spider veins aren’t the only symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis. Other symptoms include: joint or abdominal paint; feeling tired, nauseous or lacking in appetite; other skin conditions, such as rash or acne; jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
Spider Vein Treatment in Melbourne
A cluster of spider veins can be a symptom of underlying liver disease or other health concerns. If you notice many clusters of spider veins appearing at the same time, avoid home remedies that may put more stress on your liver. Book a consultation at the Vein Care clinic in Melbourne to discuss spider vein treatments.