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Best Treatments for Spider Veins

The most common cause of spider veins is genetics, though some lifestyle choices such as hormonal birth control, obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk for developing spider veins by restricting circulation. These veins can appear on any part of your body, including legs, feet, chest, and face.

Spider veins refer to tiny, twisted blood vessels that appear as red, blue, or purple spider web pattern through the skin as shown below.

Spider Veins Treatment

Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins

Spider veins can disappear by managing the cause. For instance, those resulting from hormone imbalance and pregnancy can disappear a few weeks after delivery. For immediate results, you can seek treatments such as sclerotherapy.

Laser Therapy for Spider Veins

If sclerotherapy is not right for your case, your doctor may recommend laser therapy. It works more slowly than sclerotherapy, even 1-2 years for the vein to disappear. In addition, you need two or more sessions to get a positive outcome.

At-home Spider Vein Treatments

Witch hazel is claimed to have astringent properties that help to treat spider veins. Studies on animals show that hazel also makes blood vessels stronger. For the treatment, simply prepare a witch hazel solution, dip a small cotton ball and use it to apply on the affected area. Do this multiple times until you see results.

See Our Before & After Images of Vein Treatment »

Spider veins are treatable. So consult your vein specialist to find out the options available for your case.

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How to Get Rid of Thread Veins on Legs

Thread veins are the tiny blood vessels that have become dilated and are noticeable on the surface of the skin. Also referred to as “broken veins” or “spider veins”, thread veins affect nearly every part of the body, but mostly the legs because of the reduced ability of the veins to push blood to the heart with age.

There are many likely causes of thread veins, including genetics, hormonal changes, sunbathing, obesity, and steroid medicines, among others. Being on your feet for extended periods can make the veins more pronounced, but they do not affect your health.

Get Rid of Thread Veins on Legs

If you wish to get rid of thread veins on your legs, your doctor may recommend a few treatments, including:

  • Laser therapy – The specialist applies pulses of laser light to destroy the tiny blood cells. For thin red veins close to the surface, the specialist may use a pulsed dye laser. But for the deeper blue veins, a YAG laser with a longer wavelength may be necessary to reach them.
  • Sclerotherapy – This treatment is recommended for veins bigger than 4mm. The specialist inserts a tiny needle and injects a solution to destroy the vein walls. This causes the vein to shrink and disappear gradually, over a period of 8 weeks.
  • Electrolysis – This treatment is rarely used

Most clinics use a combination of sclerotherapy and laser therapy. The former helps to remove the larger veins, while laser therapy helps to clear up the area. The treatments are spaced about 8 weeks apart. With 3 treatments, it may take 6 months for you to achieve the final result.

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How to Prevent Spider Veins

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.

Prevent Spider Veins

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.

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Spider Veins During Pregnancy

Spider veins are caused by a number of things including pregnancy. During this time, your hormones are extremely high. You also have a higher volume of blood than usual, which increases pressure on your blood vessels and causes them to swell. If you’re genetically predisposed to get spider veins, you can also notice signs of varicose veins as well.

Spider Veins During Pregnancy

Dealing with Spider Veins During Pregnancy

Spider veins are not harmful to you or your baby. But they can be uncomfortable and unsightly, hence the need for treatment.

Following an examination to diagnose the spider veins, your doctor may recommend that you wear a compression hose to promote circulation in your legs.

Some expectant mothers successfully get rid of spider veins by getting plenty of antioxidants, especially vitamin C and resisting the need to cross their legs. Vitamin C helps in the manufacture of elastin and collagen, which are two vital connective tissues that aid in the maintenance and repair of veins.

Foods rich in fiber also help to prevent straining during bowel movement, which can constrict the deeper veins and cause blood to be rerouted to the superficial veins.

You can also prevent them by regular exercising, alternating between sitting and standing positions, and elevating the legs while sitting or lying down. All these measures help to promote blood circulation and prevent circulation.

Keep in mind that spider veins may disappear after the pregnancy. So you may choose to camouflage the most visible areas with flesh-toned concealer designed for that specific purpose. If the spider veins persist, you should visit a vein specialist.

Cosmetic procedures such as sclerotherapy and laser treatments can help to treat spider veins, but should be avoided until after delivery.

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Do Spider Veins Go Away?

Those small superficial veins that appear as red, blue, or purple discolorations on your legs, chest, or face do not simply disappear without treatment. That said, not all spider veins are permanent. Some of them, such as those caused by medications or pregnancy may vanish on their own after several weeks.

While spider veins are harmless, they can cause you to feel embarrassed and self-conscious, affecting your social life. Fortunately, an experienced vein specialist can recommend several good options for resolving spider veins, perhaps using laser or VeinGogh.

Do Spider Veins Go Away?

Are there spider veins or other type of problematic veins?

Spider veins mostly appear on the thighs, calves, and ankles. They are hereditary, but can also be related to weight gain, pregnancy, and birth control pills.

That said, there are many problematic veins that look similar to spider veins, such as:

  • Telangiectasias – These dilated capillaries on the surface of the skin mostly appear on the face. Spider veins, on the other hand, mostly affect the feet and legs.
  • Angiomas and hemangiomas – These comprise venules (tiny veins) or arterioles (tiny arteries)

Treating Spider Veins

When seeking treatment for spider veins, you may notice the doctor using the terms telangiectasias and spider veins interchangeably. The specialist will diagnose the veins by examining them.

Spider veins generally don’t require treatment. You may consider the use of support stockings to reduce the size of any visible spider veins and prevent new ones from appearing. For cosmetic reasons, your vein specialist may recommend sclerotherapy or laser treatment.

Learn More About Spider Vein Treatment »

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Spider Veins vs. Varicose Veins

Blood returning to the heart from the feet and legs has to flow upwards against gravity. The calf and thigh muscles help to pump blood up and valves in the veins prevent the backward flow towards the feet.

Venous insufficiency, the root of most vein issues, occurs when your veins dilate (widen and stretch) and the valves are unable to close properly. This reduces the ability of the affected veins to return blood to the heart, causing them to bulge.

Spider Veins vs Varicose Veins

Spider Veins

When the small blood vessels near the surface of your skin dilate, they become visible as tiny red or blue veins on the surface of the skin called spider veins. Some clusters of spider veins can appear like a bruise.

Spider veins are not harmful, and typically form due to hormonal changes, pregnancy, heredity, or injury. However, their appearance can make you self-conscious.

Varicose Veins

When a vein dilates, and the valves cannot effectively close to prevent the backflow of blood, varicose veins start appearing on the skin surface. Pressure from blood backing up in your veins can cause the veins to bulge and appear twisted or ropy. Your leg may also swell and ache, and feel full, heavy, and fatigued.

Any problems that affect the saphenous veins can interfere with the side veins that drain into them, causing the smaller veins to dilate and become varicose. Varicose veins are larger than spider veins, and are usually associated with changes in skin color, bleeding, and ulcers. In some cases, blood in the varicose vein can clot, causing the wall to become inflamed and result in swelling, redness, or sudden pain in the affected area.

What to Do

If varicose veins or spider veins are causing you to feel self-conscious, you should see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

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Varicose Veins Home & Natural treatments – Does It Really Work?

Varicose veins mostly affect older or pregnant women due to the combination of hormonal imbalances and increased inflammation that causes the veins to lose their natural elasticity. But they also affect both men and women of all ages, and are most visible among people with light skin.

Varicose veins home & natural treatments

Fortunately, there are several ways to manage varicose veins, ranging from conservative (lifestyle changes, medications, and medical stockings) to minimally invasive (such as endoluminal ablation) to invasive (ligation and stripping) to hybrid (combination or techniques).

Varicose veins are the result of an underlying venous insufficiency disorder that can be managed through at-home care. Most doctors and vein specialists recommend that patients try lifestyle adjustments and natural remedies before seeking invasive solutions. The most common options include:

  • Regular exercise – The National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute claims that prolonged standing or sitting with poor posture increases the risk of blood pooling disorders such as varicose veins. Exercise helps to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight – Excess body weight increases the burden of veins to push blood up your legs against gravity, which results in inflammation or reflux in the larger superficial veins, including the saphenous veins in your legs.
  • Anti-inflammatory diet – Consuming foods that improve blood flow and reverse inflammation can help to relieve the symptoms of varicose veins. Suggested foods include those with high levels of fiber (flax seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables), antioxidants (mainly vitamins C and E sources like cayenne pepper and parsley), magnesium (bananas, sweet potatoes, and green veggies), fish and seafood, and apple cider vinegar.
  • Essential oils – Rubbing a few drops of cypress essential oil on the affected area twice a day can help reduce inflammation, manage hormonal imbalances, and improve blood flow. Diluted tea tree, olive oil, lavender oil, and peppermint also work well with varicose veins.

These natural remedies can not only reduce the risk of blood pooling in the veins, but also offer other benefits such as improved cardiovascular health, clearer skin, better digestion, and more energy. In addition, they pose little to no risk and are cost effective compared to office-based treatments.

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Varicose Veins Pain Relief

Many people seek varicose vein treatment because of cosmetic concerns. However, they can also cause physical discomfort like pain, restlessness, heaviness in the legs, and fatigue. These symptoms can wear you out, slow you down, and affect your productivity.

Varicose veins pain relief

Fortunately, you can find pain relief through simple lifestyle changes and fast, non-invasive in-office treatments for varicose veins. Here’re some options to consider:

1. At-home treatments

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your doctor may recommend some lifestyle changes to help manage the pain and other varicose veins symptoms. Some recommendations include exercising, losing weight, regular leg elevation, and wearing compression socks.

2. In-office minimally invasive treatments

If at-home care doesn’t result in any gainful improvements, you should discuss with your doctor about modern office-based varicose vein treatment. These minimally invasive treatments include:

  • Endovenous Radiofrequency Therapy – Involves the use of radiofrequency heat energy to seal the problematic saphenous vein and forcibly reroute blood flow to deeper veins
  • Endovenous Laser Treatment – Involves the use of laser heat energy to collapse the walls of the varicose vein and cause it to close
  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy – Involves the removal of large, bulging veins by making tiny incisions in the skin. For best results, this procedure may be combined with laser treatments.

Office-based minimally invasive varicose vein treatments are performed under local anesthesia. They also provide little-to-no scarring, minimal downtime, and quick recovery, and any soreness can be managed with a prescription. You can resume normal activities immediately, though you should wait for 1-2 weeks before doing anything strenuous.

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How Do You Prevent Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins may be hereditary and are a chronic problem that will likely accompany you for your lifetime. There’s little you can do about your age, gender, or genetics. That said, you can avoid the common risk factors to help delay the development of varicose veins, or at least keep them from progressing.

How to prevent varicose veins

You can achieve this by:

  • Staying active: Keep your leg muscles engaged to maintain proper blood flow. Great exercises include swimming, walking, and flexing leg muscles.
  • Avoiding high heels: Reducing the use of high heels, or completely avoiding them. High heels tend to limit the ability of the calf to pump blood, which in turn increases the risk of developing varicose veins.
  • Avoiding heat: The sun, sauna, and extended hot baths heat the skin and cause the veins to dilate in order to dissipate heat. This will encourage blood to flow via the superficial veins, rather than deep veins, increasing the risk of varicose veins.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight: Excess weight overloads the circulation, disrupts your blood pressure, and contributes to varicose veins.
  • Wearing medicinal stockings as instructed by your doctor: Elastic stockings are the most common preventive measure. They work by deviating blood from the superficial veins, where varicose veins are likely to form, to the deeper veins.

If you spend a lot of your time on your feet because of your profession – teaching, hairdressing, healthcare, cooking – follow this procedure to relieve the symptoms temporarily:

Step 1: Lie down

Step 2: Raise your legs about 6 inches above your heart level

Step 3: Maintain this position for 10 minutes, and repeat several times a day

Lastly, if you start experiencing the symptoms of varicose veins, including pain, aches, and fatigue, you should visit a qualified doctor to diagnose the origin of venous reflux in your legs, the cause, and discuss available treatment options.

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Best Treatment for Varicose Veins

You don’t necessarily need to treat your varicose veins if they aren’t causing any discomfort. However, you may choose to remove varicose veins on your legs:

  • To ease associated symptoms such as fatigue, pain, and discomfort
  • To treat complications like swelling, skin discoloration, and leg ulcers
  • For cosmetic purposes if you’re self-conscious and feel the need to keep your legs covered

Best treatment for varicose veins

If your doctor determines that you need treatment, 12 weeks of self-care may be recommended before the veins can be treated through minimally invasive procedures. Home care involves:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Managing your weight
  • Use of compression stockings
  • Elevating your legs when resting – sitting or lying down
  • Avoid standing for prolonged periods

In the event that your varicose veins require further treatment, or if the symptoms are making you uncomfortable, your doctor can help you find the right treatment depending on your overall health, as well as the position, size, and severity of your varicose veins.

The Best Treatment for Varicose Veins

Lifestyle changes are arguably the best treatment for varicose veins. This is because varicose veins are likely to appear for the rest of your life. Even if you treat the troublesome ones, others will likely appear in future if you don’t make an effort to suppress them with proper at-home care.

For immediate results, your doctor may recommend endovenous laser treatment. According to a 2014 publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, endovenous treatment is the best way to treat varicose veins. It is not only minimally invasive, but the procedure is also very fast (less than one hour), has reduced downtime, and is unlikely to lead to complications compared to other treatments.

It is best to discuss your options for your specific case with your surgeon.

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