(Cue “Spider Man” theme music) Spider Veins, Spider Veins….
Do you dread the summer season because spider veins are plaguing your legs? Or, worse than the physical appearance, do spider veins cause symptoms of aching, burning, or pain in your legs?
Well, relax, there is help for your Spider Veins.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider Veins, also known as Telangiectasias, or Angioectasias are small dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin. They can develop anywhere on the body, but are commonly seen on the face, around the nose, cheeks, and chin (basically, your whole face). They are common on the upper thigh, below the knee joint and around the ankles. Spider venins are often related to the presence of underlying varicose veins.
What Causes Spider Veins?
- The development of Spider Veins usually occurs between 18 and 35 years of age, peaking around 50 and 60. Females are affected 75% more often than males. Pregnancy is a key factor that can contribute to the formation of varicose and spider veins. This is due to hormones that weaken vein walls and also the significant increase in blood volume during pregnancy.
- If you are in an occupation that inovloves prolonged sitting or standing, you have an increased risk of developing varicose veins and spider veins.
- Unfortunately, genetics play a part in spider veins; the condition is hereditary, so if your mom or dad has spider veins, you are likely to develop them.
- It is estimated that 30 to 60 percent of adults have varicose veins or spider veins.
There are certain factors which can increase your likelihood of developing spider veins. These risk factors do not cause spider veins, but understanding the ones you can control could help you in deciding what actions to take.
- Sun Exposure
- Family History
The greatest factors that are not within your control is age and gender. As you age the elastic shell of the vein begins to weaken. Women are 2-3 times more likely to develop spider veins due to the effects of progesterone on the veins. Pregnant women have an increased risk due to hormonal influences of pregnancy, but veins can return to normal within a year after childbirth.
Three factors that we can control are obesity, inactivity, and sun exposure. These are things that we control and should be away of when trying to stem the onset or eliminate the existence of spider veins. First, obesity is a major factor that can bring on spider veins or worse, develop into the more sever form, varicose veins. With obesity, the extra weight increases the pressure on the veins. Second, your level of activity can have an affect on whether you develop spider veins. Sitting or standing for long periods of time can also increase the pressure on your veins. Sitting with your legs bent or crossed for long periods may be a bigger problem than just sitting normal. Finally, we have sun exposure. With prolonged exposure to the sun, the cheeks or nose of a fair-skinned person might be more susceptible to developing spider veins.
Treatments for Spider Veins
Spider veins are a symptom of varicose veins, so your doctor would probably treat your varicose veins in one of the following ways:
- A preferred treatment by physicians for varicose leg veins is Sclerotherapy. This is where a sclerosant medication is injected into the diseased vein to it hardens and eventually shrinks away. (this treatment is not without serious side effects –in some patients the sclerosant medication went to the heart, or lungs, and even the brain, causing serious complications such as stroke).
- Laser Treatments
- Radio frequency Occlusion
Non-invasive, holistic, treatments for spider veins that you can do at home!
- Support Stockings
- Lifestyle Changes
- Good skin hygiene
- Weight Loss
- Exercise (walking is great)
- Diet Supplements
Supplements and Cream that have provided positive results for sufferers of Spider Veins
- Horse Chestnut is a well known herbal remedy for treating Varicose Veins and also spider veins (which are a symptom of varicose veins). “High-quality evidence suggests aescin is a safe and effective treatment for chronic venous insufficiency. In one randomized controlled trial, horse chestnut extract was found to be as effective and well-tolerated as use of compression stockings.” You can get a high quality Horse Chestnut Extract here.
- Ruscus Aculeatus – Butchers Broom has been used in clinical trials for chronic venous insufficiency (fancy word for circulatory problems such as varicose veins). You can get Butchers Broom in a product specially formulate for legs called “Great Legs” here.