How To Get Rid Of (And Prevent) Spider Veins
Our bodies change so much as we age that it can be hard to keep up.
Named due to their spider web-like appearance on the skin, spider veins are small, visible veins that sit close to the skin’s surface and are typically blue, purple or red in colour. They shouldn’t be confused with varicose veins, which bulge and are abnormally large in appearance.
Spider veins most commonly appear on the legs or face, so when they do pop up, it’s typical to want to get rid of them ASAP. But like most body imperfections, spider veins are hard to budge. That being said, there are some things you can do to prevent and reduce their appearance.
What causes spider veins?
There are many different reasons why spider veins can appear. Like most things, genetics do play a part, as does age. As we get older, the valves in veins weaken, which can cause blood to flow incorrectly or pool in certain areas.
Spider veins in the legs can also be caused from standing or sitting for long periods of time or as the result of being overweight, with more pressure put on the legs.
For the face, extra pressure from coughing, sneezing or vomiting can cause spider veins to appear. Some women even discover them after giving birth, due to the pressure of pushing.
Sun damage can also cause broken blood vessels and spider veins to appear in the face.
How to get rid of spider veins
When it comes to existing spider veins, sclerotherapy is one professional treatment used to eliminate their appearance.
It involves a saline solution being injected directly into the vein, which causes the vein to collapse and the blood to clot. The vessel turns into scar tissue (which is no longer red, blue or purple), causing it to fade from view. For most patients, the results are permanent.
After scelrotherapy treatment, some itching, redness and swelling may be experienced and it's advised for compression stockings to be worn. Some people do experience pain, but this varies. Scelrotherapy can also be used to treat varicose veins.
Prices will vary depending on the area and how many veins are being treated. For example, treating small veins and spider veins may be around $200-$500, whereas larger areas of varicose veins could be $1,000+.
If you don't like the idea of injections, laser is another professional treatment option. Similar to scelrotherapy, the heat from laser causes the capillary wall to collapse and the vessel to shut down and fade away.
Different types of laser can be used, and will also vary depending on whether the veins being treated are on the body or the face. If you've ever had laser hair removal, the sensation of being flicked with a hot rubber band is similar to what you may experience with laser vein removal.
Multiple treatment sessions are typically prescribed for the best results, usually spaced 6-12 weeks a part. Laser Clinics Australia prices its Laser Vascular Lesion Removal at $190 per session.
Some people also turn to acupuncture for spider vein treatment. This method can help if the cause of spider veins is due to poor circulation, valve problems or blood clots on the lower legs.
The acupuncture needles will help blood flow to resume, removing any clogs and reducing the appearance of spider veins. However, if the vessel is damaged irreversibly, acupuncture may not be able to assist.
Not into anything invasive or expensive? As spider veins can be caused by a build-up of blood, massaging the area frequently can be an easy way help to improve circulation and physically move the blood through dilated surface veins. If you love multi-tasking, use a body oil or lotion as you massage to smooth the appearance of your spider veins and keep your skin hydrated.
You’ve probably picked up that good circulation is a huge help when it comes to spider veins — and what better way to get things flowing than with exercise? Physical activities such as jogging, dancing and yoga are particularly great at getting the blood pumping, especially if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day. And if that is the case, make sure you're utilising your lunch break to move your body. Even if it's simply squeezing in a 10 minute stroll.
For the spider veins on your body that refuse to budge (or are settling down, but aren’t quite there yet), look to camouflage their appearance with a few handy products. As spider veins aren’t raised, it’s their red and blue colour that typically draws attention to them, so using some fake tan or body makeup to blend them with the rest of your skin tone can work (temporary) wonders.
#7 A good skin care routine
With sun damage a possible culprit of spider veins on the face, we're treated to yet another reason to wear an SPF daily. There is also the suggestion that retinol can help to minimise the appearance of spider veins, as it helps to renew the skin and strengthen collagen production.
*This article has been updated since its original publication.
Do you have spider veins? What are your top tips for getting rid of or preventing them?