There is nothing appealing about spider veins. Even the name is creepy and gross but getting spider veins does not mean being stuck with them. You have a lot of options if you want to know how to get rid of spider veins and a lot of those options are all natural involving things you may very well have in your home right now. If not, the help you need may only be as far away as your local supermarket. If you have larger spider veins though – they must be large enough to stick a needle in – your best option may still be a visit to a dermatologist who can help treat the veins in a medical setting. Let’s talk a little bit more about what causes spider veins, what makes spider veins worse and finally, how to get rid of spider veins and prevent them from coming back.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins lie are basically just dilated blood vessels that lie just below the surface of the skin. Most of these veins measure less than one millimeter in diameter and can develop anywhere on the body although most people notice them on their upper thighs, around their ankles, around their knees or on the face around their nose, cheeks and chin. Because they are so close to the skin and are blue in color, they can be fairly noticeable, especially if you have fair skin. For that reason alone, they’re particularly troubling.
Who Gets Spider Veins?
Anyone can get spider veins but some are more likely to get spider veins than others. If your mother, father or grandparents had spider veins, you are more likely to develop them. If you have an occupation that requires you to stand or sit for extended periods of time you are more likely to develop them. Women get spider veins more often than men and they most often begin to appear between the ages of 18 and 35. They are often at their worst between the ages of 50 and 60. In other words, if you’re a woman between 18 and 35 or between 50 and 60 and spend a lot of time sitting or standing you are more likely to get spider veins than others, especially if there is a family history of this affliction.
What Causes Spider Veins?
There are a lot of different things that can cause spider veins. The causes of spider veins can be classified in two categories: Acquired Factors and Inherited Factors. Let’s look at both of these categories a little more in depth.
Some people are born with certain factors passed down from their parents that can cause or contribute to the development of spider veins. In other words, if your mother or father had spider veins there is a chance you may have inherited whatever caused their spider veins. Some of the most common inherited factors include:
- Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome
- Maffucci’s Syndrome
- Naevus Flammeus
- Osler-Weber-Rendu Syndrome
- Sturge-Weber Syndrome
There are many more inherited factors that can contribute to spider veins. I’ve linked the above items to their corresponding Wikipedia page should you decide you want more information on each condition.
Acquired factors that cause spider veins are environmental or based on your lifestyle. These are not things you were born with but came into play based on what you do in your day to day life. For most people, the cause of their spider veins will fall into this category. Some of the most common acquired factors include:
- Damage from cold temperatures
- Spider Angiomas
- Sun Damage
- Topical Corticosteroid Treatments (prolonged or frequent treatments)
- Venous Hypertension
In a great number of cases, venous hypertension is the culprit responsible for spider veins in legs. While the spider veins are the symptom and venous hypertension may be the cause, there are also several causes of venous hypertension and curing your spider veins may be as simple as dealing with the hypertension. The two most common causes of venous hypertension are:
- Sitting or standing for long periods of time
Now we some possible causes. Let’s talk solutions.
How to Get Rid of Spider Veins
If your spider veins are related to pregnancy, they will likely disappear a few months after you’ve delivered your baby so there’s really no need to worry about treatment too much. Let’s be honest though – spider veins are ugly and the wait and see method just isn’t always the preferred approach. Luckily, it isn’t your only option.
Exercise: Exercise is a big one. If your spider veins are caused by venous hypertension, there’s a good chance you’re sitting or standing in the same position for too long. Doing so creates a lot of pressure against your closed off veins which can cause those veins to fail. Spider veins could easily be the least of your problems though as sitting or standing for long periods of time can also lead to blood clots. The solution? Get moving. Exercise. If you’re stuck at a desk, stand up and shift your weight from foot to foot. Bend your leg at the knee and pull your heel up toward your butt. Stretch your leg back out. Do this ten times with each leg to get the blood flowing through your legs normally again and to relieve pressure on those veins. You may also want to try signing up for a fun exercise class or taking a walk or jog in the morning before work or in the evening before your settle in for the night. You’ll be surprised at what a difference it makes.
Compression Stockings: My Grandmother had terrible spider veins so she asked her doctor what could be done without a dermatologist. He recommended compression stockings. Compression stockings work by ensuring your blood is flowing through the veins properly. She picked some up at the drug store and swears by them to this day. They’re discreet but highly effective. Her spider veins caused her a fair amount of pain and not long after starting to wear the stockings, that pain was gone. Excellent tools for treating spider veins, especially since they’re inexpensive and don’t require actual medical intervention. I would recommend talking to your doctor about them first though as your doctor will be able to tell you how long and how often you should be wearing your compression stockings.
Get Rid of the Junk: Junk food is easy, fast and tasty but it also may be contributing to your spider veins. By now we all know a million reasons to cut out junk food so you can just add this one to the list. When you eat junk food, waste matter gathers in your system and can cause problems when your blood is trying to flow through your veins. Try switching up your diet and putting more focus on healthy eating. You’ll not only help get rid of spider veins but you’ll also feel better in a whole host of other ways as well.
Cold Water Therapy: When most people get up in the morning they want to immediately hop in a nice hot shower. Instead, try having a cold bath first thing in the morning. Just leave yourself a little extra time to get to work. Not only is slipping into a cold bath a great way to naturally jolt yourself awake but it also gets your blood flowing in a healthy way. When you get out of the bath, wipe yourself down with a towel soaked in cold water and then finish up by drying yourself off with a soft, dry towel. You’ll be increasing the flow of blood to the surface of your skin which will help get rid of those pesky spider veins. Don’t have time for a bath in the morning. Skip the bath and just use the towels but if you want the most benefit, try to make time.