Treating Varicose Veins
How to Remove Spider Veins
Spider veins are red or blue web-shaped veins that appear close to the skin's surface on the legs and ankles. Sun exposure, increasing age and hormonal changes all contribute to the onset of spider veins. Learn about spider vein removal treatments and measures you can take to prevent new spider veins from appearing.
Undergo sclerotherapy.In this medical procedure, a saline solution or detergent is inserted into the vein, causing it to become irritated and collapse. Once the vein has collapsed, it is no longer visible under the skin.You can expect one injection per inch of spider vein. The procedure is quick and usually quite painless - the prick of the needle is the only thing you feel.
- The side effects include redness, stinging, swelling, and bruising. These usually go away quickly and shouldn't prevent you from doing your normal activities.
- The best time to get sclerotherapy is during the winter, when your veins are most visible and easiest to protect. Skin tanned by the summer sun makes spider veins more difficult to see and remove.
- The procedure permanently removes existing spider veins, but new ones can develop over time. Additional treatments may be required to keep your legs free of spider veins.
- You can expect to pay between 0 and ,000, depending on how many spider veins you have and whether both legs need the treatment.
Consider a surface laser treatment.If you are sensitive to needles or allergic to the saline solution used in sclerotherapy, you may want to have a surface laser treatment instead. Strong bursts of light are sent through the skin to the veins, which fade and disappear afterward.
- Laser treatment is often painful due to the high temperature of the laser. After treatment, which usually lasts about 20 minutes, a cooling agent is applied to the skin to ease the pain.
- Side effects can include redness and swelling, discoloration of the skin, and in extreme cases, scars or burns.
- People with certain skin colors and conditions should not use laser treatment, since it can permanently discolor the skin. Ask your doctor whether you're a good candidate for the treatment.
Preventing Spider Veins
Don't inhibit circulation in your legs.The veins in your legs have to work against gravity to carry blood back to your heart. Certain habits can make this process harder on the veins, causing them to become strained and enlarged, which makes them visible.Aid the circulation in your legs by practicing the following habits:
- Don't stay in the same position for long periods. Whether you're sitting at a desk all day or standing in front of a classroom for hours at a time, staying in the same position inhibits circulation. Find time to change things up by taking a walk around your office or putting your feet up between classes.
- Don't cross your legs. This cuts off circulation and puts unnecessary stress on your veins. Sit with your feet flat on the floor to allow the veins in your legs to circulate blood unobstructed.
Wear comfortable shoes.Your feet are an important part of the circulation in your legs, and if you wear shoes that pinch or otherwise inhibit blood flow, it can lead to the appearance of spider veins.
- Avoid high heels. Heels put extra pressure on your legs and make your veins work harder to carry blood back to the heart. Wear low heels or flat shoes instead.
- Avoid tight boots. Knee-length boots, especially, can constrict your legs and inhibit circulation.
Wear compression hose.Available at drugstores and other stores that sell medical equipment, compression hose provide extra support to your legs to aid in blood circulation and prevent your veins from getting strained.
- Compression hose are not the same as support stockings and other fashion stockings. Compression hose apply pressure in certain spots to help your circulation.
- Prescription-strength gradient compression hose must be fitted by a professional but they offer even more pressure than regular support pantyhose and gradient compression hose.
- Wear hose as often as possible, and not just when you're wearing a dress or skirt. Wear hose under pants, too.
- Compression hose can also help ease the swelling or stinging that results from sclerotherapy or laser treatment.
Take care of your skin.Keeping your skin healthy protects the veins beneath it and decreases the chance that spider veins will show through. Care for your skin in the following ways:
- Wear sunscreen. The sun's rays damage and weaken skin, making veins below more apparent. Use it on your face to prevent spider veins from appearing there, and don't forget your legs and ankles.
- Moisturize your skin. Keeping your skin from drying out helps improve your skin's elasticity and appearance, making it less likely that spider veins will show through.
Lifestyle Changes for Better Circulation
Eliminate foods that make you retain water.When your body retains extra water, it puts unnecessary pressure on your veins, which can cause them to enlarge and become visible. Decrease your intake of the following foods that cause water retention:
- Foods with a lot of salt. Fried foods, canned soups and salty snacks can cause you to retain water. Try reducing or eliminating the amount of salt you use in everyday cooking and baking.
- Alcoholic drinks. A few beers or glasses of wine a week shouldn't cause a problem, but more alcohol than that can cause your body to retain water and strain your veins.
Eat more fiber.Constipation is another form of pressure that can lead to over-strained veins. Eating foods high in fiber helps your digestive system work properly and prevents this type of pressure from accumulating.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid juice, and eat whole fruit instead, since it contains a lot of fiber. Try making whole-food smoothies with spinach, blueberries and bananas.
- Eat whole grains. Quinoa, steel-cut oatmeal, oat bran, and other whole grains help relieve the pressure of constipation.
- Take fiber supplements if your system still seems to need more fiber.
Exercise every day.Regular exercise keeps you moving and improves your circulation, and it also helps the body maintain a healthy weight, decreasing pressure on the veins in your legs.
- Focus on exercises that work out your legs, like running, swimming or biking.
- Daily walks are another great form of exercise. Fit them in on your lunch break or before and after work.
QuestionIs walking a good exercise to help circulation in the legs?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, walking can definitely improve circulation in the legs.Thanks!
QuestionHow long do I wear compression bandages after treatment?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should consult the medical professional that is overseeing your case to determine the appropriate length of time that you must wear the compression bandages following your treatment, as it varies from person to person depending on your unique circumstances.Thanks!
Are there any medications I can take for spider veins?
Does Apple cider vinegar get rid of spider veins?
Are there any home remedies for spider veins?
- Some insurance companies won't cover the costs of spider vein treatment because it is often seen as a cosmetic and elective surgery. However, if you can demonstrate signs and symptoms of a medical condition caused by spider veins, such as bleeding or swelling, your insurance company may reconsider.
- Varicose veins are similar to spider veins, but they are larger and can become painful. Varicose veins can be treated with radio frequency treatments or surgery in addition to the treatments used to remove spider veins.
- Discuss side effects before undergoing sclerotherapy or laser treatments to remove your spider veins. Side effects may include bleeding, scarring, infection, swelling, skin discoloration, skin sensitivity and pain. Side effects may be stressful but but should go away after a period of time.
Sources and Citations
- Mayo Clinic:
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