Spider veins, often referred to as varicose veins, are typically as painful as they are unsightly. For many people, watching these thin veins appear as they age is like a nightmare come true. Some will go the distance to avoid them at all costs, often investing in expensive medicines or painful treatments. (Injecting saline solution into your legs? Yeah, we’ll pass, thanks.)
If you’re someone who dreads the day they have to face their spider veins or someone who is hiding tender and embarrassing veins as we speak, know that these methods are not your only options for relief. There are simple, DIY remedies for spider veins that you can do right at home! No injections required.
But before we get to those at-home solutions, it’s important to know what spider veins are and why you’re struggling with them. Spoiler alert, spider veins and varicose veins are not the same thing, even if we use the terms interchangeably!
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are thin, twisting veins that are easily visible through the skin and are typically a red, purple, or blue color. The veins appear in clusters that fan out most commonly on your legs and face; it’s this twisted, sprawling appearance of the veins that give them their spidery name.
Varicose veins, although similar to spider veins, are more raised, pronounced blood vessels. These often are not colored and more tender to the touch than smaller, flatter spider veins.
Regardless of their comparative size, spider veins can cause problems for some; if not checked on, spider veins can sometimes develop into ulcers. However, this is fairly uncommon. Generally speaking, spider veins don’t have any negative health connotations.
But from a cosmetic point of view, these veins can definitely be a source of annoyance and embarrassment.
Why Do We Get Spider Veins?
While almost everyone tends to develop these veins at one point or another, they are more likely to show on people with fairer skin, for obvious reasons. However, skin color does not dictate whether or not you will develop spider veins.
If spider veins run in your family, you’re more likely to genetically develop them. Being overweight is a common reason for spider veins to appear, as well. This is because your body is under more pressure and struggles to get blood to circulate. People who stand for long periods of time (for work, perhaps) are also more likely to develop them.
Likewise, those who suffer from blood clots or take the contraceptive pill can increase their chances of developing the veins because of the poorer circulation and hormonal changes. Hormonal fluctuations can not only cause spider veins to appear, but they can increase the size of existing veins; this is especially common during puberty, menopause or pregnancy.
How Can We Reduce Spider Veins?
There are four simple ways that you can avoid spider veins in the future or reduce spider veins you already have! You might even have some of these remedies at home right now.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
This miracle elixir can do so many wonderful things for your health, including reduce the look of spider veins – in some cases, using this treatment daily can even help the veins disappear all together. Apple cider vinegar boosts the blood supply in your body, which in turn boosts the strength in the layers of your skin. This can help the veins drop into the layers, rather than being on the top layer of skin for all to see.
All you’ll need is some of the vinegar and a clean cloth. Soak the cloth with vinegar and use it as a compress anywhere you have troublesome veins. If you have sensitive skin, you may find that diluting the vinegar is best for you.
Leave the cloth on your skin for about 30 minutes and do this twice a day. It will take at least two months to start seeing some benefits, but if you make it part of your beauty routine, you’ll see more evident results. If you haven’t seen results in a month, this is not the solution for you.
2. Horse Chestnut Seeds
The antioxidants, saponins, and tannins in horse chestnut seeds help to improve circulation and reduce inflammation in the body. This means that horse chestnut seeds will help reduce itchy and swollen spider veins by reducing the inflammation and improving blood flow. The seeds will also strengthen your veins and improve their elasticity, so they won’t feel as painful when you move around.
Mix a few tablespoons of horse chestnut seeds with some distilled witch hazel and apply the mixture to your veins once a day. This is a great, gentle option for people with sensitive skin!
3. Witch Hazel
You might use witch hazel to help with breakouts on your face, but acne isn’t the only thing witch hazel can banish from your skin. This powerful healing tool helps to fight against spider veins by strengthening your blood vessels and boosting their flexibility. While it doesn’t do much for the skin, it can help to soothe the pain your spider veins may cause.
As an extra benefit, witch hazel can be used with other ingredients, like horse chestnut seed, to get even better results.
This spicy root isn’t just great in tea and after your sushi roll, it’s also a great all-natural solution to fighting spider veins. When the veins are injured, fibrin builds up around the area, causing the veins look much worse than they really are. To break up this protein, you should incorporate ginger into your life. You’ll also find that your circulation is given a boost by consuming this super root.
You can create a cream with the ginger to apply topically, or you can eat it! Try adding some ginger to a salad or enjoy a cup of ginger tea before bed each night. Delicious and effective!
While all of these DIY treatments are cheap, all-natural, and effective, changing your lifestyle is another great way to avoid spider veins. Here are just a few ways you can go above and beyond to eradicate spider veins:
- Losing weight by starting a healthy diet and exercise routine
- Wearing compression socks, to help with circulation
- Quitting drinking and smoking
- Getting a weekly massage
- Stop wearing heels and crossing your legs
- Take care of your skin by always wearing sunscreen
For more information on spider vein treatments and causes, check out this informative article at Positive Health Wellness.