If you’re under the impression that spider veins and varicose veins only happen in your later years, think again. Contrary to popular belief, visible leg veins are not exclusive to women of a mature age and most of us (yes, men too) will get–at the very least–spider veins at some point in our lives, if not varicose veins as well. From pregnancy to exercise and even sun exposure, spider veins are very common to see on women in their 20s and 30s, and in some cases, as early as their teens. While spider veins in younger people are usually not as serious, that doesn’t make them any easier to deal with and nor should they be ignored.
Known officially as telangiectasia, spider veins are the more common “little cousin” of varicose veins. While spider veins are painless and the result of enlarged venules (very small veins), varicose veins are very dilated, rope-like veins that are often quite painful. The main causes of spider veins are typically weight gain, hormonal changes, genetics or anything that puts pressure on your legs, such as standing for long periods of time.
Taking simple precautions will help to reduce their appearance and lower the risk of the spider veins developing into varicose veins:
- Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and to limit spider veins.
- Exercise regularly to improve your leg strength, circulation, and vein strength.
- Focus on exercises that work your legs, such as walking or running.
- Control your weight to avoid placing too much pressure on your legs.
- Avoid the habit of sitting with your legs crossed.
- Elevate your legs when resting as much as possible.
- If you must stand for a long time, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes.
- If you must sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk every 30 minutes.
- Wear elastic support stockings and avoid tight clothing that constricts your waist, groin, or legs.
- Avoid wearing high heels for long periods of time. Lower-heeled shoes can help tone your calf muscles to help blood move through your veins.
- Eat a low-salt diet rich in high-fiber, like fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grain. Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation, which can contribute to varicose veins. Eating less salt can help with the swelling that comes with varicose veins.
Spider veins don’t go away on their own, and can worsen over time because of the already weakened vein walls. Laser vein removal is a fast, painless procedure with little to no downtime. It is important not to let spider veins get in the way of your regular routines. Unless it gets painful, you shouldn’t stop exercising or living a healthy, active lifestyle. While we cannot avoid spider veins, they shouldn’t get in the way of your daily life, and can be treated very easily.