The legs are one of the most common places where spider veins or telangiectasias can develop. Telangiectasias usually appear as red, purple, or blue-colored, fine thread-like marks that closely resemble the look of a spider web, and hence, the name spider veins. They usually develop just beneath the skin on the legs, face, hands, upper thigh, and below the knee joint.
Telangiectasias are a bit similar to varicose veins. Varicose veins are usually larger than telangiectasias, and they can become swollen or enlarged over a period of time. Varicose veins are broken capillaries that generally result from the widening and narrowing of the capillary wall, which eventually causes the capillary wall to tear.
Causes and Risk Factors
Telangiectasias can appear due to a problem in circulation, which in turn, can be caused by the gradual weakening of the blood vessels with advancing age. The valves present in our legs maintain the flow of blood in one direction, i.e., from the legs to the heart against the force of gravity. But due to certain factors, they may fail to function properly. This in turn, can cause some blood to flow back into the veins. As a result, such veins can become a bit swollen and distinctly visible.
Sitting or standing in the same position for a prolonged period of time can aggravate this condition. Body weight can also have an effect on the development of telangiectasias. It has been observed that factors, like a family history of telangiectasias, pregnancy, obesity, hormonal fluctuations, a sedentary lifestyle, leg injuries, tumors in the abdomen, use of birth control pills, and excessive exposure to sun can increase the chances of developing spider veins.
Treatment and Natural Remedies
The conventional treatment options for this condition are sclerotherapy and laser treatment. However, telangiectasias do not cause any health problem, other than being a cosmetic concern. Therefore, they usually do not require any medical treatment. However, they may look unsightly, and so, it is quite normal for people to look for some ways to get rid of this condition. Natural remedies can be of great help in this regard. The following are some of the simple home remedies that can help prevent the development of spider veins or reduce their visibility.
- Excess body weight can put more pressure on the legs and cause the appearance of telangiectasias. So, try to reduce the pressure on your legs by maintaining an ideal body weight.
- Exercise regularly to improve the circulation of blood. This can also help strengthen the veins, and thus prevent the development of spider and varicose veins. Walking, swimming, and jogging are some ideal exercises to prevent this condition.
- Reduce your salt intake, as excessive intake of salt or sodium can aggravate spider veins.
- Never sit for a long time with your legs crossed. Also avoid sitting or standing at a stretch for a prolonged time period.
- If your job or occupation requires you to sit or stand for a long time, then take short breaks in between to elevate your legs for a few minutes.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing that can impede the flow of blood in the legs.
- Try to avoid high heel shoes. Always wear comfortable footwear that can provide adequate support to your feet and legs. You can also take the help of support stockings or compression hose to get rid of telangiectasias.
- Include more vitamin C-rich foods, like citrus fruits, oranges, grapefruit, berries, as well as whole grains and green vegetables in your diet. This can help strengthen the veins, and treat and prevent telangiectasias.
- Vitamin K is another natural remedy, as it can help prevent blood leakage from the veins. Green vegetables, cabbage, tomatoes are some good sources of vitamin K. Creams and ointments containing vitamin K can also be applied on the affected area to diminish the appearance of spider veins.
- To reduce the appearance of telangiectasias, soak a soft cloth in apple cider vinegar and wrap the affected area for about half an hour.
- Witch hazel, Japanese pagoda tree extract, and horse chestnut extract are some herbal remedies for this condition. These herbal preparations can help improve blood circulation and strengthen the blood vessels.
Before using any kind of herbal remedy, like witch hazel or horse chestnut, never forget to talk to your physician. To sum up, adopt a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, wear the right type of clothing and footwear, avoid sitting or standing in one position for a long time, and follow a balanced diet for preventing this condition.