What are spider veins?
Spider veins are dilated blood vessels that are small in size, visible through the skin, and typically are purple, red and blue in color. They usually appear on the legs and face, but can show up anywhere on the body.
Common Causes of Spider Veins
- prolonged standing
- birth control pills
- postmenopausal hormonal replacement
- history of blood clot
- constipation or anything that causes pressure in the abdomen, including tumors
- any trauma or injury to the skin
- ultraviolet rays
Pain in the area that feels like aching, cramping, or tiredness in the legs. An individual may also experience a burning, throbbing, tingling or heaviness in the legs.
Treatment Options Include:
- Support stockings – you can purchase these stockings at any surgical supply store or at some pharmacies. The stockings can help to alleviate pain or discomfort.
- Losing weight (if appropriate) – excess body weight puts pressure on your veins
- Sclerotherapy – involves injecting a solution into the vein that forces it to collapse, which stops blood flow. The vein will turn into a scar and fade after a few weeks.
- Laser treatment – this treatment works best on the smaller, fine, red-colored spider veins because they’re difficult to inject as with sclerotherapy. The laser delivers pulses of light energy which causes the blood within the vein to coagulate – destroying the vessel which is reabsorbed by the body.
- Surgery – typically used to treat large varicose veins. This treatment usually refers to tying off the vein (or ligation), and stripping (or removing a long segment of a vein). A phlebectomy is a procedure where the veins are removed through tiny incisions that do not need stitches.
Ways to Lower Your Risk:
- Maintaining appropriate weight can lessen the pressure on your legs – this is both a treatment strategy, as well as a preventive measure
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time
- Keep your blood flowing by running or walking can increase circulation
- Prop your feet up – elevate higher than your heart for best results
- Wear sunscreen – it helps prevent spider veins, especially on the face
- Compression stockings or socks can help blood get back to your heart and keep your veins from enlarging
- Eat a diet rich in Vitamin C and E. Vitamin C is necessary for the manufacture of collagen and elastin, two important connective tissues that help to keep veins strong and toned. It also helps to increase circulation. Bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas, and papayas all contain Vitamin C.
Include soluble fiber in your diet to prevent constipation. Some sources of soluble fiber are oats, flaxseeds, peas, beans, apples, carrots, berries, and psyllium.
- Drink plenty of pure water each day – this will help to prevent constipation, especially when including adequate amounts of fiber in the diet. Alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated tea intake should be limited due to their dehydrating effect on the body.
- Consume foods high in bioflavonoids – these compounds strengthen the wall of blood vessels and are free radical scavengers. Rutin, a particular bioflavonoid, has been studied extensively as a remedy to prevent both spider and varicose veins.
At Rejuvena, we offer laser treatment to remove unsightly spider veins. We can also coach you on the best nutritional strategies to prevent varicose and spider veins from developing.