Spider veins are a group of dilated veins that appear close to the surface of the skin and look like spider webs or tree branches. They can be characterized by red or blue web like veins under the skin of the face, neck, upper arms and thighs. Spider veins normally came and go without any symptoms except their appearance on the skin. Spider veins are very common after the age of 50. This condition is harmless, but many individuals want to get rid of them for cosmetic reasons. More severe form of spider veins is varicose veins. They can cause serious problems and can also lead to circulatory problems.
Causes of spider veins
The cause of varicose veins and spider veins is not known but it is found to run in families. Women are more prone to this problem than men. It is believed that changes in the oestrogen level of women may have a role in the developing varicose or spider veins. These hormonal changes take place during puberty, pregnancy, breast feeding and menopause in women. Other causes of spider veins can be related to continuous sitting or sitting periods, lack of movement of the limbs, or bed ridden for a long time, overweight and lack of exercise. Age is another factor that can lead to this condition.
Symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins
Most often, these abnormal veins cause no symptoms, but sometimes one can experience cramps, swelling, throbbing, and discomfort in the legs. In some cases, they can be painful or cause skin sores or blood clots. The eruption of capillaries can cause brownish stain on the surface of the skin.
As seen spider veins are harmless, some self-care measures can be taken to decrease the discomfort cause by varicose veins and to prevent or slow the development of varicose veins.
- Exercise– Walking is a great way to encourage blood circulation in the legs. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods.
- Weight and Diet— Keep control over excess weight by shedding extra pounds. This can be achieved by eating a low-salt diet. Less weight will reduce the pressure on the veins of the legs and low salt diet will prevent swelling that can be caused by water retention.
- Dressing-High heel shoes must be avoided as low heeled shoes are better for the calf muscles. Tight clothes around the waist, legs, arms or groin can stop the flow of blood and lead to swelling of the veins.
- Elevate your legs— Circulation in the legs can be improved by taking short breaks daily. The legs must be elevated above the level of the heart for some time e.g. Lie on the bed with legs raised by three or four pillows.
- Avoid long periods of sitting or standing— same position of sitting or standing should not be kept for more than 30 minutes. Changing of position encourages the flow of blood.
- Sitting with legs crossed—it is believed that sitting with cross legs can increase circulation problems and so it must be avoided.
- Leg toning exercise –– Leg exercise or walking will help in increasing circulation to get rid of spider veins.
- Antioxidants in the diet– More antioxidants in the diet will help to keep the veins strong and healthy.
- Apple Cider Vinegar—Application of apple cider cloth or simple rubbing of it on the spider veins help in reducing the appearance of the spider veins.
- Spices—Spices like garlic, ginger and cayenne in the diet helps to break down the fiber in which appears like a hard lump on the spider veins.
- Alcohol—Alcohol causes the blood vessels to dilate which can become permanent and lead to spider veins.
- Vitamin C present in oranges and other citrus fruits is very crucial in the treatment of spider veins. Vitamin C is an excellent oxidant which protests the damage of tissues. It helps to strengthen the blood vessels and improve the circulation of blood.
- Castor oil has anti-inflammatory and stimulating properties. Massage of warm castor oil on affected areas stimulates the blood circulation and increases the flow of blood. It prevents blood clotting in the veins and reduces swelling.
- Guavas are rich in vitamin C which is required to strengthen the blood vessels.The large quantities of vitamin K in guava improve blood flow to the tissues and prevent discoloration which can improve spider veins considerably.