Spider veins and varicose veins affect about 50% of adults. They tend to develop more in women than men. In most cases they cause no symptoms other than their unsightly appearance. However, most of us like to go to swimming from time to time or wear skirts and short pants, so it is important to know how to get rid of spider veins and varicose veins.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are thin red, blue or purple veins are are very close to the surface of the skin. They tend to look like spider webs or thin tree branches. They appear in the face and legs.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are abnormally enlarged veins that appear in the legs. They are often blue or purple and tend to bulge above the surface of the skin. Varicose veins can actually cause serious health problems such as:
- pain and throbbing
- blood clots
- darkening of the skin
- restless legs
What causes spider veins and varicose veins?
In most cases there is a family history however the condition can be aggravated by lifestyle factors such as:
- long periods of time standing or sitting
- lack of exercise
- oestrogen levels (pregnancy, menopause, hormonal imbalances)
- poor diet
Spider veins and varicose veins are caused by a malfunctioning of the valves in the veins and the weakening of the blood vessels’ walls. Oxygenated blood flows from the heart to the whole body through the arteries. Veins then carry the blood back to the heart. The blood in our leg veins have to travel upwards, against the pool of gravity. To prevent the blood flowing backwards, they have one way valves. When the valves do not close properly the blood can accumulate distending the veins and forming small pools (varicose veins). The blood can also spill into the superficial veins forming spider veins.
How to get rid of spider veins and varicose veins?
There are various treatments as well as natural remedies than can alleviate and eliminate spider veins and varicose veins. When choosing to eliminate them the natural way, you will need to do all of the following suggestions. If you only do one of them you will only alleviate the symptoms and maybe prevent getting new veins, but they will not go away.
How to get rid of spider veins and varicose veins with Natural Remedies
Wear compression stockings (support stockings), specially if your job entails standing up most of the time. Compression stockings put pressure on the veins helping to push the blood upwards. They will reduce the swelling, ache and redness and prevent complications.
The calf muscles help to push the blood upwards, keeping them toned will reduce the symptoms. Avoid high impact exercises and take up swimming or walking instead.
Keep your weight under control
Excess weight puts extra pressure on your legs and increases the incidence of varicose veins. Maintaining the right body mass index will help you get rid of spider veins and varicose veins.
Some nutritional supplements are great for the circulation and strengthening the walls of the blood vessels.
- Grape Seed Extract
Grape seed extract contains flavonoids and potent antioxidants which help improve the circulation and reduce leakage of the veins.
Rutin is a powerful bioflavonoid that strengthens the walls of the veins. It also decreases capillary permeability.
I highly recommend this supplement. My husband was suffering from varicose veins in his left leg. Paroven Forte (contains a Rutin compound) virtually eliminated them. I also tried it for my spider veins and they improved a bit but did not disappear. However, I used to experience pain when any slight pressure was applied to my legs. Even to areas with no visible spider veins. Massage on the legs was totally out of the question! With the Paroven the pain went away. The only draw back of the supplements is that you need to keep taking them forever.
Elevate your feet
Elevating your feet will also help you get rid of spider veins and varicose veins. If you are sitting watching TV put the feet on a chair. Place a pillow under your feet while you sleep or raise the bottom legs of your bed (you can place some books under them).
How to get rid of spider veins and varicose veins with Medical Treatments
IPL or Laser for spider veins
IPL and laser are very effective for spider veins. The light energy heats up the blood in the veins causing coagulation. Once coagulated the blood breaks out. It is then disposed through your own body’s elimination processes. The treatment is quick and almost painless. The most you feel is like little pin-pricks. It may require multiple treatments and can be performed by a trained therapist or nurse. There is no downtime.
It can be used for spider veins and some varicose veins. It consists in the injection of a saline solution directly into the affected veins. The solution causes the veins to collapse in themselves and disappear. It may require multiple treatments depending on the severity of your condition. It can be done at the doctor’s office and does not require anaesthetic. You need to put compression stockings right after the treatment and walk for about half an hour. You can then return to you normal activities. However you will need to wear the compression stockings every day for a few days.
This surgical procedure involves the insertion of the thin fibre into the affected vein. Laser light passes through this fibre causing the vein to collapse. It requires local anaesthetic and it has a 98% success rate.
Endovenous Radio Frequency
Same as the Endovenous Laser, radio frequency heats up the vein causing its contraction.
In severe cases the only solution is surgery. There are two techniques:
- Ligation and Stripping
It involves cutting and tying the vein (ligation) and pulling it through an small incision with a surgical instrument (stripping)
The doctor will make a series of small incisions and remove the veins with a special hook
These operations are performed under anaesthetics. You may be required to stay in hospital for a couple of days. There may be pain and swelling after the procedure and other side effects.
All the above medical treatments are pretty successful. However, to get rid of spider veins and varicose veins for good you may need to combine them with natural remedies. Most procedures do not remove 100% of the veins and they also have a tendency to reappear.
I had Sclerotherapy done on my spider veins, some 17 years ago. It removed about a 95% of my veins. However, I have met people to which the procedure only removed about 50%. One of them actually got a complication: telangiectatic matting, which is a cluster of small dilated blood vessels.
About 5 years after the procedure they slowly started to return, though not as bad as they were originally.
Right now I have been trying IPL which is working pretty well. It requires multiple treatments.