Do you feel unlucky to have developed spider veins? Well, we have good news! Let’s talk about the best ways to reduce and remove spider veins that range from natural treatments to procedural. You won’t need the luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s day if you follow these tips for vein health.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are tiny visible veins at the surface of the skin, commonly on the legs and face, but can occur anywhere on the body. These veins are damaged and can appear as one vein or as a cluster. They sit near the surface of the skin and are red, blue, or purple. While these small veins are not painful or harmful, many people wish to remove them for cosmetic satisfaction. In some cases, they may be the first sign of a venous medical condition forming.
In some cases, many of us can help avoid spider veins altogether by taking a few precautionary steps. We asked our vein experts and found practical ways to also help someone looking to prevent the potential of veins appearing.
Tips For Preventing Spider Veins
There are steps you can take to prevent spider veins from occurring at all and reduce the appearance if they have already formed.
- Lower body weight: People who are overweight have more risk of developing spider veins. Extra weight places additional pressure on leg veins. Losing weight can help remove stress on these veins and will improve the appearance of veins. Keeping your weight down can ensure these veins don’t form from excess weight.
- Stay active: Sitting or standing for an extended period can cause blood to pool in veins making it harder for veins to pump the blood back to the heart. If you have a desk job, it is important to make sure you move every hour or less to improve blood flow.
- Standing for too long: The alternative to sitting (standing) can also have adverse effects on visible veins. If you have a job that keeps you on your feet for extended periods, take breaks to elevate your legs and relieve pressure.
- Don’t cross your legs: It’s not as much about crossing your legs as it is about sitting in that position for an extended period. Sitting in any position for too long, especially crossing your legs, can slow down your circulation.
- Regular exercise: Getting exercise on a regular basis will help fight spider veins by improving leg and vein strength and circulation. Going for daily walks can make a big difference in your vein health.
- Know your medication’s side effects: Every medication has a list of side effects, and some can increase spider veins. Medicines that change your hormones can be to blame. You must weigh the benefits with risk factors to decide if the possible changes to your veins are worth the risk.
- Wear sunscreen: Even the sun can cause spider veins when the sun’s harmful rays hit your skin. These rays break down collagen under the skin’s surface, and they damage blood vessels just the same.
- Limit or don’t drink alcohol: If you have ever felt your face get flush from drinking alcohol, you see the direct results it has on your veins. Alcohol stimulates blood flow and causes blood vessels to enlarge. The problem is the venous valves are not working at the same pace, and a backflow of blood can occur. Over time, continued alcohol consumption can damage veins causing spider veins to appear on the face or any other area.
In some cases, spider veins are unpreventable. For some, spider veins are hereditary. Some are even born with weak vein valves that allow spider veins to form easily. In the same way that medications can cause spider veins, natural hormones can cause visible veins, too. Hormonal changes from puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can be the trigger for veins to become damaged. With hormones affecting veins, it’s no surprise that women are more likely to develop spider veins than men. Age also plays a role in seeing these small, unsightly veins on the surface of your skin.
While there are many ways to prevent spider veins, how do you handle the unavoidable ones?
Removing Spider Veins
Generally, most veins don’t disappear on their own. Following our vein health guidelines can minimize them, but you may still be dissatisfied with their appearance. If you are ready to remove your spider veins, there are a handful of procedures available that can help.
- Remove Spider Veins with Sclerotherapy
- A sclerotherapy treatment utilizes an injectable to treat the visible vein. This liquid irritates the vein walls, causing them to collapse and stick together. Once they are damaged and closed in this way, the body will naturally remove the visible signs of the spider vein. A similar treatment is a closure system in which a sticky injectable is applied to target veins. Blood will cease to flow through these veins, and they will disappear with time.
- Remove Veins with Laser Treatment
- If you have very tiny visible veins, laser treatment can be a great option. Laser treatments are non-invasive and can remove small veins from the surface of the skin. An intense beam of light is focused over the vein and causes it to clot. The body will then naturally remove the blood clot material and vein itself.
- Remove Veins with Endovenous Laser Therapy
- Also known as EVLT, this procedure works for spider veins as well as tiny varicose veins. If you suffer from visible veins and newly forming varicose veins, this can be a great treatment to deal with both. This treatment is a little more invasive. A vascular surgeon will create a small incision and insert a laser fiber into the vein. This method causes the vein to collapse and close. Your body will remove the visual signs of the vein, but with this treatment, it can take up to a year.
Take these tips to help improve the appearance of your skin by taking care of your veins. If you are ready to move forward with a vein procedure, the board certified vascular surgeons at The Vein Centre can direct you toward the procedure that will benefit you the most. Give us a call and schedule a consultation at 615-269-9007.