Spider veins and varicose veins are two kinds of unsightly veins you see as a result of excess pressure on the veins due to prolonged standing, heredity or other causes. Many people want to know how to prevent spider veins, in part so they don’t have to go through the sometimes painful treatment of the disorder. Spider veins, which are really broken capillaries, are tiny veins of less than 2 mm in diameter that are common on the legs, ankles and face. They form a web of veins just beneath the surface of the skin. They are not dangerous but are unsightly. They are often seen as a precursor to varicose veins which are bigger and are sometimes cause itching, heaviness in the legs, and leg cramps, especially at night.
Heredity is the main cause of spider veins. It is more common to have them if you are a woman or if you are pregnant or using birth control medication (estrogen is well known as a contributing factor). Things like obesity and lack of exercise can contribute to getting spider veins. While you can wait until you get spider veins and then treatment, it is better to prevent them in the first place.
Preventing spider veins can be done by using techniques and substances that effectively take the pressure off the veins. About 80 million men and women in the US have vein issues like varicose veins and spider veins and almost half of all women over age 40 years get some type of vein condition in their lives. Prevention is the key to getting rid of these vein problems and you need to start prevention before they actually form.
Support hose for spider veins is a good conservative approach to treating spider veins. You wear the support hose when you are going to be standing or sitting for long periods of time and you can expect an improvement in the appearance of the spider veins and in the symptoms of the condition. Remember, there is no way to cure the condition once it starts so prevention is the only way to make sure you don’t have to go through painful treatments that may or may not work effectively.
Diet and regular exercise make a difference in the appearance of spider veins. A diet high in vitamin K for spider veins is known to make a difference in preventing spider veins. If you already have a few spider veins or varicose veins, you should begin exercising regularly to stop the progression of the disease. You should avoid taking birth control pills as these make spider veins worse. You should eat a diet high in fiber in order to prevent constipation and wear loose clothing. Keep your legs elevated at night to a degree that is about 6-12 inches higher than the heart. Massage can prevent spider veins. Besides vitamin K, vitamins C and E can relieve symptoms of poor circulation. Do not cross your legs as this increases the pressure in your lower legs.
If you already have varicose or spider veins, consider undergoing sclerotherapy or laser therapy to treat your condition. These work best when the disease is mild and often does not make the skin look perfect after the procedure. This kind of varicose or spider vein treatment leaves small white lines where the veins used to be and these can be unsightly, although not as bad as the spider veins themselves.