Five Ways to Reduce the Risk of Spider Veins

The optimal and therapeutic pose for legs with varicose veinsSpider veins may not be a serious health concern. However, they present enough of a cosmetic issue that most people who get them feel frustrated about it. Spider veins are like teeny tiny varicose veins. They form in clusters of blue and purple webs. We most often see them on the calves, ankles, and thighs. While there are contributing factors that cannot be mitigated, the chances of developing spider veins can be reduced with a few simple strategies. Whether you already have a few webs of veins on your legs or you hope to never face this concern, these tips can work for you. 

  1. Choose footwear wisely. The shoes we wear don’t just affect foot comfort, they have a significant effect on vascular health in the legs. High heels are particularly problematic because they can elevate the venous pressure in the lower legs and make it more difficult for blood to move upward.
  2. Wear sunscreen. Often, people apply sunscreen to areas that are more obviously exposed to the sun. Sunscreen is applied to the arms, shoulders, chest, and face. Unless a person is expecting to spend hours outdoors, they are not likely to apply sunscreen to the legs. Wearing sunscreen on the face can decrease the chances of telangiectasia on the nose and cheeks, but the legs also need protection from UV rays that can damage the skin and superficial veins.  
  3. Elevate, elevate, elevate. Whether we are sitting or standing, our legs take a lot of stress simply because the veins in the lower extremities must work against gravity. This means that the venous pressure in the legs is somewhat always higher than other areas of the body. When possible, elevate the legs. This can be in a recliner or by lying on the floor with bent legs propped up on the sofa. 
  4. Keep it moving. Healthy veins are sustained with regular activity. People who work at a desk are encouraged to get up and move every 30 minutes. Movement should not wait any longer than 60 minutes. All it takes to keep the blood moving well through the legs is 5  minutes of walking or calf raises about every hour. 
  5. Uncross the legs. Sitting with the legs crossed, even sitting cross-legged on a cushion or the floor, can impair blood flow through the legs. When blood cannot move swiftly through leg veins, it pools. Where blood pools, the vein swells and weakens. Repeatedly crossing the legs can eventually result in spider and varicose veins. 

Spider veins and varicose veins aren’t a life sentence. Fortunately, treatment for these conditions is widely available. At American Dermatology in Sarasota, patients can eliminate unsightly veins with quick, comfortable laser therapy. To learn more, call (941) 379-6647. 


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