Spider veins and varicose veins can be a very difficult aesthetic issue to deal with. They can certainly become problematic, not just aesthetically but also medically. This may present itself with aching or twinges of pain and although it is often not debilitating, it can cause anxiety and stress that you do not have to deal with. You may notice some type of leg fatigue, swelling or an itching sensation that can be uncomfortable, especially if you are sitting for long periods at work. This can also apply if your job requires you to be stood for long periods of time; both are equally damaging and must be combated to stop the spreading of spider veins.
Spider veins may become more prevalent with age but it isn’t necessary a condition that is only defined by older age. People with a paler skin tone may first notice spider veins in their youth, most commonly found around the backs of the legs, thighs and even on the face. Women are most likely to develop them due to different skin types to men, and can affect upto 50% of the population. They may be red, purple or blue coloured and can easily start to spread and become more prominent if not treated accordingly. The cause of spider veins may vary but most often they are caused from pressure on the legs that restrict blood flow and cause pressure within, which cause veins to dilate and therefore become prominent. For women, it can cause issues with body image and confidence; but it doesn’t have to be this way. With modern vein treatments, there are a plethora of ways to assist the look and feel of spider veins.
Risk factors may include: age, prolonged sitting or standing, obesity, pregnancy, hormone therapy, using birth control pills, injury, vein surgery, blood clots or hereditary factors will all play a part. If any of these apply to you, then it may be a good idea to look at some ways to help prevent spider veins (alongside vein treatments) to create a healthier and more active lifestyle that should really aid the symptoms.
Are Spider Veins Preventable?
There are many ways to help prevent the visibility of spider veins but this must be done from a young age, as there is very little to do naturally to help the look of spider veins once they are visible other than treatment. Some top tips may include:
- Keeping your legs elevated when sitting – if you sit often, ensure that you are not crumpling your legs up by the side of you or putting pressure on the backs of your legs. Keep them elevated as often as possible and ensure good circulation. Use a foot stool or lift your legs up on the couch when watching television.
- Keeping your legs moving – if you are stood up for long periods, ensure that you keep your legs moving as much as you can, to ensure your legs aren’t static and taking the pressure of your weight. Bending the knees can aid circulation when you’re stood still, or walking on the spot, if possible, although there may be a need to be discreet if you’re working, trying to keep them gently moving will be of huge benefit.
- Support stockings – these types of stockings can be worn at all times to help alleviate symptoms. Also known as compression stockings, they work to aid circulation by increasing pressure; we may often wear them on planes to avoid issues such as DVT on long haul flights. It is a similar concept, you may need to get advice on the best type of stocking for your issue.
- Exercise – keeping a good exercise routine can help take the pressure off your legs. Keeping active, walking instead of driving and swimming can also be very beneficial. Ensure that you keep to this routine weekly to see the best results. The best exercises are: gentle walks, swimming, cycling, sports and Pilates. Yoga can also be beneficial but ensure that there are no positions that put additional pressure on the legs.
- Avoid tight clothing – any kind of clothing around the groin and legs can compromise blood flow. Wearing comfortable loose clothing will assist greatly, not just for your spider veins but also for your general circulatory help and even musculoskeletal health. Look for the best materials such as linen, polyester and materials that offer comfort and do not restrict your movement in any way.
- Don’t cross your legs – keep those legs moving! Do not sit cross legged, either on the floor, or couch or at your desk chair; this will restrict blood flow and put unnecessary pressure on the veins. If this is a current habit, you may find that this has been the cause of your spider veins. Think about your positioning and posture to avoid any type of constriction at work and at home. Look at a footstool at the office, so your legs are not just dropped down to the floor.
- Improve blood flow herbally – certain supplements can really benefit your circulation and therefore stop the visibility of spider veins. Some of these may include: Cayenne, Ginkgo biloba, Horse Chestnut Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Chromium, Butcher’s Broom, these can be used only as a supplement and should not be taken instead of a healthy diet. Eat well, such as omega 3 and fatty rich foods that are rich in oils and iron to assist circulation.
- Protect skin better – wear sunscreen and assist your skin to ensure that there is no damage to the skin via UV radiation, or thinning of the skin which can make spider veins more visible. Using the correct sunscreen for your skin is also important, look at the factor that you need to protect your skin correctly.
- Avoid high heeled shoes – wear lower heels or flats that do not put a bigger strain on your legs. Certain heels cause you to grip your shoes differently which in turn causes you to walk differently and change posture. Over time wearing high heels can not only damage your legs but can affect your ankles and feet leading to other issues such as bunions. Be sensible with the shoes that you choose to wear, supportive shoes will be helpful.
- Laser therapy – types of laser therapies can really be beneficial for people with spider veins. Laser vein closure, which is something we offer and fully believe in, is a type of endovenous ablation that helps diminish visible veins and begins with using a thin laser through the vein via a catheter; a special anesthesia is delivered to ensure it is painless. The laser helps close up any veins and this procedure is proven to greatly assist the look of spider veins.
- Venaseal vein closure – this is a service that we currently offer and this treatment is designed to eliminate any veins via cutting edge treatment that is performed by using only proprietary medical adhesive. This is delivered intravenously and this closes any unwanted veins, therefore creating less vein visibility. This method also abolishes any risk of thermal nerve injury associated with other thermal based procedures and it is incredibly safe and painless, and it is a procedure that we highly recommend.
- Sclerotherapy – we provide and believe that this non-invasive treatment can be a really helpful option for those wanting to reduce the look of spider veins. It works to deliver a solution direct to the veins using a very fine needle, this solution irritates the inner lining of the vein and eventually leads to its collapse and therefore the vein ‘dies off’. Any pooled blood is redistributed into healthy veins and overtime you can see a huge difference to the skin’s look and feel. It can also be targeted for spider veins across many areas of the body, not just the legs.
Most often our non- invasive treatments can assist to combat the look of spider veins as well as any additional symptoms that present because of this. By maintaining all of the above tips in conjunction with treatment, you could be seeing an 80-90% improvement in your legs which can assist you in feeling more like yourself and being confident once again in your body.
Making The Right Decisions For Me
The outlook can be positive; we offer a range of solutions that we believe can really alleviate all aspects of spider/varicose veins but essentially the right type of treatment is down to your beliefs, your goals for recovery and what type of treatment is best suited to your lifestyle. This is something that we are more than happy to discuss with each patient, with any type of query about treatment. You may want to look at a consultation to really assess the type of veins you have and what a professional believes could work well for you. Most people respond well to treatments, with the look and feel of the area being massively improved. There is no need to suffer any longer, delve into the world of vein treatments today.