Today, 8/27/2018, we share with you Dr. Oz’s take on a condition affecting approximately half of American females. Spider veins can be unsightly and annoying.
Spider veins do tend to run in families; however, more women than men have them because female hormones tend to exacerbate them. This is why women going through puberty or pregnancy, or who are using birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy often see them develop. Fair-skinned people can develop these visible blood vessels from too much sun exposure. Still, other folks may get them as the result of an injury, or even from wearing girdles or hosiery bands that are too tight. Even standing too much can be a cause. Occasionally, spider veins can lead to swelling, ulcers, and rarely thrombophlebitis, a painful and inflamed blood clot.
They aren’t dangerous, but they’re not fun to look at, either – spider veins, the cousins of larger varicose veins, are enlarged red or blue blood vessels that live close to the skin’s surface and often form a branching or web-like pattern. They often appear on the legs or face but can occur almost anywhere. While spider veins aren’t always preventable, there are some things you can do to avoid this unsightly problem.
Follow these five tips to reduce your chances of getting spider veins.
- Wear sunscreen – Not only will sunscreen protect you from skin cancer and early skin aging like wrinkles and dark spots, it will also help prevent spider veins – especially on the face.
- Don’t cross your legs – Sitting with your legs crossed for too long can slow blood flow in your legs and may cause vessel damage. This can lead to the weakening of the vein valves and walls and contribute to spider and varicose veins.
- Get moving – Don’t stand or sit for too long without moving. If you have to stand for a long time, shift weight between each leg every few minutes to keep blood flowing. Try not to sit for more than 30 minutes without getting up or going for a walk. Movement and exercise promote blood flow and decrease your risk of unsightly veins.
- Elevate your legs – When you’re resting, put your feet up to help take the pressure off your legs and feet and help blood drain back to your heart. This will decrease the pressure on the veins and skin and make them less likely to weaken.
- Get good footwear – Leave your high-heels for special occasions – low-heeled shoes will help promote good blood flow. Also, avoid tight clothes that constrict you at the waist, groin or legs, as these can cause a backup of blood in the lower extremities. Compression stockings or socks can also help blood get back to your heart and keep your veins from enlarging.
How are spider veins treated?
- Spider veins are best treated with sclerotherapy. In this procedure, doctors inject small- and medium-sized varicose veins with a chemical that scars and closes those veins. In a few weeks, treated varicose veins should fade. After the injection, elastic compression bandages are worn for approximately five days. Elastic compression stockings are then worn for an additional five weeks. People are encouraged to perform walking activities as prescribed to maintain blood flow in the leg.
- As far as lifestyle changes; losing weight, walking and taking good care of the skin are all recommended. Other options include wearing supportive hosiery to alleviate the pain, radiofrequency occlusion, surgery, and laser treatments.
- Whether you have developed spider veins through a life change like pregnancy, through heredity, or by any other cause, there are solutions available. Talking to a qualified doctor is the best way to pinpoint the ideal solution for your needs.
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