In this article we’ll be focusing on the association between spider veins and circulation. That’s because the secret to how to prevent spider veins eventually appearing on your legs and ankles involves improving your circulation before it happens!
But first, what are spider veins?
Spider veins are like tiny varicose veins that can show up on your face, legs, ankles, and feet. Medically speaking, they’re damaged veins that are less than 1mm in diameter that look like red, blue, or purple spider webs or starbursts. Spider veins are located just under the surface of the skin. They’re caused by a variety of factors, including
- sun exposure,
- skin damage, and
- poor circulation.
We’re dealing with that last one here! But it’s important to note that once spider veins appear, they will not go away without intervention unless their appearance is linked with pregnancy. In that case, many times, you can expect them to fade away after the birth of your child.
On the other hand, sometimes you can prevent spider veins appearing so soon. We’ll show you how.
Spider Veins and Circulation
Most often, the specific cause of spider veins is unknown, but poor circulation does play a part in their development.
Veins return your blood from your outer extremities back to your heart and lungs.
Aging and excessive weight gain can cause vein valves to weaken, which can allow your blood to flow backward or pool in your legs. The reversed and stagnant blood flow enlarges your veins, makes them more visible, and causing spider and varicose veins.
That’s why the most effective ways to prevent spider veins are linked with how to improve or manipulate your circulation.
Here are three simple ways that you can help prevent spider veins by improving circulation.
1. How to Prevent Spider Veins by Moving Your Body
Getting your body moving is one of the best ways to improve your circulation. When your heart gets pumping, so does your blood. And when your legs get moving, so do your calf muscles. Your calf muscles are like additional hearts in your legs! They assist your blood in flowing back towards your actual heart. Without them, gravity would keep pushing the blood back toward your feet, causing your blood to pool there and your vein valves to weaken and eventually give out.
Sound familiar? We’ve just described the cause of spider and varicose veins! So you can see why it’s crucial that you keep your body moving and keep your blood flowing.
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the most common causes of spider veins, as are sitting and standing for long periods as part of your job. Think commuting to work, meetings, computer use, etc.
What can you do to prevent new spider veins from forming? Take short breaks whenever possible throughout the day and go for a little walk around, take the stairs, or do simple exercises to keep your blood circulating. You could also park farther away from the store to give you a longer distance to walk through the parking lot.
2. Prevent Spider Veins Using Elevation
Another way to keep blood circulating and prevent blood from accumulating in your leg veins is to manipulate blood flow through them.
Elevation is one of the simplest ways to achieve this— and it can give you some good downtime too! The key to using elevation to manipulate blood flow is ensuring that your feet and lower legs are above your heart. That way, you give your calf muscles and vein valves a break and let gravity do the work.
In addition, relaxing with your legs up allows your blood to return to your heart more easily so it won’t accumulate as much in your lower legs and feet – which means fewer spider veins!
3. Help Prevent Spider Veins With Compression Stockings
You may associate compression hose or stockings with visiting your friend or family member at the hospital, but don’t skip this suggestion!
The reason is that fashionable compression stockings, socks, and sleeves are widely available and have replaced the old creepy ones that gave you the heebie-jeebies simply looking at them.
Compression stockings are garments that provide gradient pressure from your feet up your legs to encourage healthy blood flow. Compression socks fit tighter around your foot and gradually loosen as they move up the leg. They help your lower leg veins push blood back up to your heart, improving your circulation and creating better blood flow in your legs.
You can find a wide variety of compression socks or hose or even workout tights in our office. These are also available at medical supply stores and online, but make sure you’re getting a good medical grade (20-30 mmHg) compression.
Two Points You Should Know About Preventing Spider Veins
The first point is, you cannot prevent every spider vein by improving your circulation.
Remember that circulation isn’t the only factor influencing whether or not you’ll get spider veins sometime in your lifetime. Over 50% of men and women in America get spider veins, and women are three times as likely as men to have them show up at some point. Basically, if your parents had them, you’ll have them too.
So what do you do if your prevention strategy didn’t work and now you’ve got spider veins on your legs and ankles?
The second point is, you’ve got an option!
A vein specialist can easily remove spider veins. Not only that, but spider vein removal treatment is minimally invasive and leaves no scarring. It also has little to no downtime.
Spider Vein Removal With Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is an in-office procedure that takes about 30 minutes. It requires no anesthesia and is a safe and convenient treatment option.
With sclerotherapy, a vein specialist injects a solution into your vein, which irritates the lining of the vein and causes it to swell closed. This forms a scar that prevents blood from entering the vein, which in turn forces the blood to reroute itself through other veins instead. Within 3-6 weeks, the damaged vein will be absorbed fade away.
Do You Have Good Circulation But Still Need to Get Rid of Spider Veins?
At Denver Vein, we understand that however much you ensure you have good blood circulation, you may still get spider veins. We’re happy to offer you a pre-treatment assessment of the causes of your spider veins and find a good solution for you. Unfortunately, spider veins are not covered by insurance – they’re considered cosmetic. Call us to get more details.
Contact us for a consultation today, and we’ll get you back on track to healthy-looking legs.