3 Awesome Tips for Minimizing the Appearance of Spider Veins

Spider veins sound creepy, but they’re a pretty common vascular disorder that affects lots of men and women, becoming more common as we get older. Spider veins get their name from the web-like appearance they cause when they show up just under the surface of your skin. And while you can develop spider veins just about anywhere, they tend to show up on your legs and feet, thanks to the increased work of supporting the weight of your body.

Spider veins vs. varicose veins

Spider veins occur for many of the same reasons as varicose veins. Increased pressure on the vessel walls cause the veins to weaken and dilate, and those tiny vessels show up as thin, purplish, bluish lines just below the surface of your skin. Some of that pressure is due to the strain of supporting the rest of your body while you stand and walk. But in your legs and feet, spider veins can also form as a result of the increased forces needed to return blood to your heart. When your blood circulates, your heart gives it a good “push” that takes it all the way to your hands and feet. To move it back to the lungs and heart, your circulatory system relies on tiny valves inside your larger veins. It takes a lot of work on the part of your veins to return that blood to your heart, and that added force can also contribute to spider vein formation.

Some people are more prone to spider veins than others, and fluctuations in estrogen levels are a major reason why spider veins are more common among women than men. If you're pregnant, overweight, or you spend a lot of time standing or sitting, you also increase your risk for developing spider veins in your legs and feet. People with certain medical conditions and women who use hormonal birth control methods are also more prone to developing spider veins. 

Camouflaging your spider veins

While spider veins can’t be “cured” (not yet, anyway), there are ways to minimize their appearance and even prevent them from showing up in some cases. If you’ve got unattractive spider veins, here are three methods to consider.

Keep your legs elevated

Since added pressure can weaken those tiny veins in your legs and feet, it makes sense that reducing that pressure can also decrease the chances your veins will start to “act up.” Putting your feet up in the evening and even using a footstool while you’re working at a desk are good ways to reduce the pressure in your leg veins, and if you spend a lot of time standing at work, you should also try to take occasional breaks to prop up your feet. 

Use compression

Of course, it’d be great if you could talk someone into giving you a daily leg and foot massage, but the chances of that are slim. The alternative: Slip on a pair of compression socks. Compression socks provide gentle pressure in your feet, ankles, and calves to support your veins, prevent vessel weakness, and help your blood flow normally back to the heart. You can buy compression socks from a drugstore (or even online), but before you buy, you should schedule an appointment to determine how much compression you need. Quality compression socks come in different pressure grades; too much pressure can cause unnecessary discomfort, while too little won’t provide you with maximum benefits. Our team can determine the amount of pressure you need, whether you opt for prescription compression socks or you decide to buy socks off the shelf.

Have your veins treated

One of the best ways to combat the appearance of spider veins is to have them professionally treated. At Cleveland Family Health, we use the state-of-the-art Tempsure® system to treat spider veins using radiofrequency energy. During treatment, the Tempsure device emits controlled bursts of radiofrequency energy that penetrate the deeper layers of skin tissue, heating up malfunctioning vessels and causing them to close permanently. Your blood is diverted to neighboring healthy veins, and over time, your body eliminates the old, closed veins, leaving your skin clear and healthy-looking. There’s no downtime with Tempsure treatment, and you can go back to your regular activities after your appointment.

If you’ve got spider veins, the team at Cleveland Family Health can help. To learn more about the treatment options we offer to help patients get rid of spider veins once and for all, book an appointment online today.

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