Are there tiny, thread-like veins on your skin? If so, these veins may be weak capillaries, and The Vein Center in Mount Pleasant, SC has multiple treatment options to help remove them. There are many factors that contribute to what causes weak capillaries, some of which can actually be prevented.

What are Weak Capillaries?

Weak capillaries, also called broken capillaries, spider veins, or telangiectasia, are thin blood vessels that have become damaged or dilated. Because of the damage or dilation, the capillaries appear more visibly as tiny, thread-like veins on the skin’s surface.


What Causes Them?


Genetics is a primary factor for what causes weak capillaries. If you have a family history of weak blood vessels or medical conditions that cause weak blood vessels, then it may be due to a genetic cause.


As a person ages, the skin will have less collagen and flexibility, causing it to be thinner with less elasticity. This change in the skin results in the capillaries being vulnerable to sun damage and other skin damage.

Sun Damage

Repeated sun exposure that leads to sunburns is another factor for what causes weak capillaries. Ultraviolet (UV) rays break down collagen, and the capillaries become more visible on the skin’s surface. The damage from the chronic sunburn causes the skin to recover and repair itself by making new capillaries. After repeated sun exposure and repair, the skin will have less collagen than previously, and the capillaries will become more vulnerable and/or damaged.

Skin Trauma

Repeated skin trauma can also cause weak capillaries. Everyday life activities such as aggressive skin scrubbing, exfoliating, or even pimple-popping can weaken the capillaries. Similarly, people who suffer from leg injuries are at risk of weakened capillaries due to the changes in blood flow from the injury.


Standing and sitting for most of the day at work can be another factor. Standing for a job all day can weaken the capillaries because the veins in the legs are working much harder to circulate the blood back to the heart. Sitting for most of the day weakens the capillaries because the circulation is at high risk of being blocked, causing blood pressure to increase.


Hormonal changes are also a factor for what causes weak capillaries. Changes in progesterone and estrogen levels increase blood flow in the body through blood vessel formation.


Talk to Our Experts

At The Vein Center in Mount Pleasant, SC, we offer treatment options to help you address various vein-related issues. Contact us today to book a consultation and learn more information!

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You may long for smooth, beautiful skin across your body, but your visible veins may be keeping you from looking your best. These veins often begin quite small and most often show up initially on your legs.


Before diagnosing any type of venous insufficiency, our doctor at The Vein Center will make sure to take your medical history and give you an exam. You may also have an imaging test done that looks at blood flow and the structure of your leg veins.


As we age, our bodies change. It’s inevitable. Still, most of us do whatever we can to maintain a youthful appearance. We exercise, eat healthy and stay mentally active. Despite your best efforts, you may still develop spider veins.