You step out of the shower and begin your nightly routine. First come facial serums and moisturizers, and then comes body lotion. As you moisturize your legs, you stop suddenly.
“What’s this?” you ask, tracing a series of thin, red, web-like lines just below your knee. You probably just bumped your leg on something.
Except that a couple weeks later, those spidery lines are still there — in fact, they seem to be spreading. Those feathery little markings are spider veins, a common aesthetic concern in women, especially as they get older.
Dr. Hesham Fakhri, board-certified cardiologist at Vein, Heart and Vascular Institute in Tampa, Florida, has helped countless patients stop spider veins in their tracks or prevent them altogether. You can stop yours, too, with help from the following tips.
How to prevent spider veins
Implementing the following practices in your day-to-day life can stop existing spider veins from worsening and prevent new spider veins from appearing.
Too much sedentary time increases the risk of developing spider veins. Get up and move every hour or so to prevent fluid pooling in your legs.
Wear compression socks
Compression socks improve blood flow in your lower legs and can help reduce fluid buildup that causes spider veins.
Elevate your legs
If you still find your legs swollen even after exercising and wearing compression socks, elevate your legs in the evening to stop blood from pooling.
Maintain a healthy weight
Having excess body weight increases pressure on your leg muscles, joints, and blood vessels, which may contribute to spider veins.
If you have spider veins on your face, wearing sunscreen may prevent future spider veins. The hot sun can cause broken blood vessels over time.
Limit use of hot tubs and saunas
Exposure to high temperatures can cause blood vessels to break in some people.
Are spider veins dangerous?
In most cases, spider veins don’t present an immediate or serious health threat, or any health threat at all. Spider veins are typically harmless, except for the emotional distress that often comes with being unhappy with your appearance.
But sometimes spider veins may become painful or tender, which may make the desire for treatment more urgent.
Treatment for spider veins
While prevention is the best method for avoiding spider veins, you can certainly get rid of spider veins if you already have them. Dr. Fakhri offers the best vein treatment options available, from sclerotherapy to laser ablation.
Depending on the severity of your spider veins, you may only need mild and noninvasive treatment, such as compression stockings. The lifestyle changes described above may also help reduce the appearance of spider veins.
To learn more about spider veins, discuss treatment options, or consult about general vascular health, book an appointment with Dr. Fakhri. You can schedule by calling our Tampa, Florida vein clinic or request your appointment online.