How to Prevent Spider Veins
Are you worried that spider veins will ruin the smooth, youthful appearance of your skin? You are not alone – the Office on Women’s Health says that 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men have some sort of vein disease, such as spider veins. While you may not always be able to prevent spider veins, you can take steps to reduce your risk for developing those red or blue jagged lines that look somewhat like a tree branch or spider web. Your vein doctor can also give you ideas on how to prevent spider veins.
About Spider Veins
Spider veins typically develop on the lower legs but can appear on your face or other areas of your body. They may cover a very small or a very large area of skin.
Spider veins are often the result of blood accumulating in small veins near the surface of the skin. Normally, strong veins and one-way valves help veins fight the force of gravity to push blood upwards from your feet and lower legs towards your heart.
Weak veins or faulty valves allow blood to accumulate in certain places in your veins, a condition known as venous insufficiency. Excess blood causes the veins to become bloated and swollen. When large veins lying near the surface of skin become bloated, they appear as varicose veins. Smaller veins appear as spider veins.
Spider veins can also be the result of hormone changes, exposure to the sun, excess weight, and injuries. Ultraviolet (UV) light in the sun breaks down collagen, a type of connective tissue, and blood vessels lying close to the surface of the skin. This allows spider veins to ‘pop up’ on your nose or cheeks.
Excess weight puts pressure on veins, which can weaken the blood vessels. Hormone changes, like those during puberty, pregnancy and menopause, can weak vein walls. Injuries can also weaken veins lying close to the surface of your skin.
How to Prevent Spider Veins
Wear sunscreen to protect your veins from damaging UV light.
Exercise regularly, focusing on activities that get your legs moving. Regular exercise improves leg strength, blood circulation and the strength of your veins.
Do not cross your legs when you sit. Sitting this way all the time can injure the veins in the backs of your legs.
Avoid sitting or standing for a long time. If you must remain in one position, try shifting your weight from side to side. Get up and move every half hour or so, whenever possible.
Avoid clothing that fits tightly around your waist, groin or legs. Tight clothing can impair blood flow.
Wear low-heeled shoes whenever possible. Low-heeled shoes help tone your calf muscles, which promotes good circulation through your veins.
Make an appointment with your local vein clinic. Vein doctors can provide personalized tips on how to avoid spider veins and, if necessary, discuss your treatment options if you already have spider veins.