Spider veins affect nearly 60 percent of adults as they age. They appear as tiny red, blue, or purple blood vessels on the skin surface of your feet.
The causes of spider veins are not very clear, though they are often associated with genetics, oral contraceptives, and hormonal imbalance.
For instance, sitting or standing for prolonged periods can affect circulation. Weight gain can also strain the veins in your feet and legs, since they have to work harder to push blood to the heart. The increased strain can interfere with the ability of deeper veins to transmit blood, pushing it to the surface veins. Exposure to sunlight can also cause the veins on your feet to weaken and become noticeable, especially if you have fair skin.
Keep Spider Veins from Appearing
With the exception of spider veins associated with genetics, other causes can be managed to keep spider veins from appearing. You can prevent spider veins by:
- Using sunscreen – Always apply a high SPF sunscreen when stepping out for more than a few minutes to protect the fragile skin from harmful UV radiation. It will also help to prevent the appearance of spider veins on your feet, ankles, calves, and legs as you age.
- Watching your weight – A healthy body weight will relieve your feet and legs from carrying excess load, reducing the stress on your blood vessels in those areas. Ask your doctor to help you reach an appropriate weight for your body type.
- Exercising – Besides maintaining a healthy diet and managing the portions, you should also exercise every day to develop strong muscles in your foot, lower leg, and thighs to aid in blood flow through the veins.
In addition to these tactics, you should consider wearing compression hose to stimulate blood flow and maintain proper body position when sitting or lying down. This includes avoiding crossing your legs, and elevating your feet 6-8 inches above the heart level when resting.