Spider veins are the little, spider leg-like blue, purple, or red veins that often appear on the legs, calves, ankles, and sometimes even the face, which can be unsightly and uncomfortable.
Spider veins, which are essentially broken or dilated blood vessels, can occur for various reasons, including genetics, pregnancy, an inactive lifestyle, and even prolonged sun exposure. However, no matter the cause of spider veins, it may possible to help prevent them before they occur in certain circumstances.
The following tips can help you avoid many of the common habits that contribute to spider veins.
1. Avoid Body Positions that Hinder Proper Blood Flow
Improper blood flow can lead to dilated or broken capillaries; therefore, it is important to maintain proper circulation in order to help prevent spider veins.
One way that proper circulation can be hindered is by crossing your legs while sitting. When your legs are crossed for extended lengths of time, it obstructs the blood circulation to your lower extremity, which can cause the walls of the veins to become weak. After some time, this weakening of the vein walls can lead to spider veins. Therefore, you should try to avoid crossing your legs while sitting and, instead, lift your feet at least 6 inches off the ground, which can be done by placing your feet on a footstool. By doing so, it helps increase blood flow to your veins as well as decreases fluid build-up in your lower legs, which helps lower your risk of developing spider veins.
2. Exercise Often
Regular exercise helps to increase blood circulation, even after you are finished, which helps prevent enlarged and broken veins. Therefore, regularly engage in exercises such as jogging, cycling, walking, swimming, and any other exercise that incorporates your feet and legs, to help keep your veins strong. Resistance training, such as lifting weights, also helps improve blow flow, so be sure to add it to the mix as well.
Exercising regularly also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which also helps keep spider veins at bay because supporting extra body weight puts stress on the veins and forces them to function harder to transport blood to the heart, which can weaken the walls of the veins and eventually lead to spider veins.
3. Eat Plenty of Fibre
Fibre helps prevent hardening of the stool, which can cause you to strain during defecation, thereby putting pressure on the veins, which can damage the veins. Therefore, eat plenty of fibre, such as whole fruits, whole vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, to help combat spider veins.
4. Eat Less Salt
Excess sodium causes your body to store water, which can cause swelling. This swelling can exert pressure on the veins, which can lead to damaged veins. Therefore, avoid salt in excess to help keep your veins healthy. In fact, processed foods, such as prepackaged foods, are often packed with sodium, so try limiting these types of foods in your diet. When cooking, you should also try adding less salt to the foods you eat.
5. Apply Sunscreen
When the skin is damaged by the sun, it decreases the collagen amount that is produced by the skin cells. A decrease in collagen causes the skin to become thinner, which in turn makes the blood vessels show through. However, wearing sunscreen protects the skin against UV radiation, which reduces sun damage, thereby making the veins less visible.
6. Mind Your Attire
Relaxed clothing encourages free circulation through the bottom half of the body, which helps prevent the development of spider veins. On the other hand, tight-fitting clothing, such as tight waist clothes and fitted jeans, prevent proper blood flow through the lower half, which can cause spider veins.
Likewise, low heeled shoes strengthen the back of the lower legs, which helps encourage proper circulation through the veins, while high heeled shoes tend to exert pressure on the legs, which can limit circulation to your lower half, thereby increasing the risk of developing spider veins.
7. Avoid Remaining Seated Too Long
If your occupation requires you to be seated for extended lengths of time, it is best to get up periodically and stand or walk around to maintain proper circulation. You can also take a short walk during your lunch break to help maintain proper blood flow and prevent spider veins.
8. Avoid Standing Motionless Too Long
Standing immobile in one spot for too long puts pressure on the veins, which can cause dilated or broken veins. Therefore, if your occupation requires you to stand still for long periods of time, be sure to maintain blood flow by periodically walking around the work site, or simply take a brief walk during your lunch break to help maintain proper blood flow.
9. Wear Compression Socks
If you suffer from achy, swollen legs at the end of the day or as a result of performing various activities, you might consider investing in low-grade compression socks to help stimulate your blood vessels and increase circulation, which will help reduce swelling as well as help prevent damaged veins.
No matter the cause of spider veins, simply trying these tips can help lower your risk of developing them, which can help keep both your veins and your legs healthy. This is especially useful if you have a history of spider veins in your family. In fact, more than half of the people who experience spider veins have family members who also have them.
However, in some cases, spider veins may simply be unavoidable. In which case, you could visit a vascular clinic who can provide treatment to help restore your confidence and self-esteem as well as relieve any discomfort you may be experiencing as a result of spider veins.