Spider veins are unsightly, small bluish/purple blood vessels that appear close to the skin's surface. They generally can be found around the ankles, thighs and calves, although they can appear on the face and other areas of the body. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins except for being smaller and closer to the surface of skin. They generally occur as a result of heredity or pregnancy, and while there are no overnight cures for these veins there is much that can be done to prevent and reduce the appearance of veins, including elevating the legs whenever possible and using natural treatments like witch hazel.
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Things you need
- Witch hazel
- Cotton balls
- Band aids
Soak cotton balls in witch hazel.
Apply to affected areas, allowing to soak in as much as possible.
Cover cotton balls with band aids or gauze and leave on spider veins for additional treatment. Witch hazel helps reduce inflammation and, when applied to the skin and can help treat bruises and distended veins, according to WebMD.
Ask your dermatologist or vascular medicine specialist whether you are a candidate for sclerotherapy, a common outpatient spider/varicose vein treatment. Those with a history of blood clots or who are pregnant or taking birth control pills are not eligible for sclerotherapy.
Discuss with your dermatologist any medications or supplements you are taking as certain medications should be avoided before having sclerotherapy. Do not apply lotion the day of the procedure.
A doctor will inject small to medium veins with a salt solution that scars and closes the veins. This causes the body to redirect blood flow to healthy veins; occasionally veins might need to be reinjected. Experiencing minor discomfort during the procedure is normal.
Itching and swelling/redness at injection sites can occur after the procedure but should go away after one or two days. Bruising can also occur and last for a few days or weeks. You will notice considerably faded veins three weeks to a month after treatment.
Lie on your back with legs as straight up as possible after exercising or any time of day. Heels can lean against a wall. This causes blood to drain from veins, alleviating pressure on stressed valves.
Hold this pose for five to 10 minutes while breathing deeply. Repeat daily to reduce appearance of veins.
Flex your feet slowly during this time to tone calf muscles.
Wear loose clothing and avoid high heels to combat spider veins. Try not to cross legs whenever possible as this adds to pressure on veins.
Go for a walk, run or ride a bike. Exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate spider veins by keeping the blood flowing.
Refrain from soaking in hot baths for too long as this increases vein swelling and blood pooling.
Tips and warnings
- Symptoms of spider veins include aching or heavy feeling in the legs; burning, throbbing or cramping feeling in the lower legs, or itching around the veins. In extreme causes skin ulcers near the ankles can occur.
- When left untreated, spider and varicose veins can turn into serious vein abnormalities and problems with circulation. Maintain a healthy weight so as not to further aggravate veins as extra weight puts additional pressure on the legs.
- If you apply vinegar, always use raw, unprocessed apple cider vinegar that contains powerful enzymes. Processed apple cider vinegar has been stripped of these enzymes. Also be sure to use with raw, not processed, honey.
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