Get rid of spider veins

Monday, 24 October 2011

spider veinsWhat are they?

Similar to varicose veins, but smaller, spider veins are small blood vessels appearing near the surface of the skin, They are the small, often tangled, groups of tiny blood vessels just under the skin surface that frequently resemble spider webs (hence the name). They are generally red, blue or purple and are clearly visible, usually on the thighs, lower legs (calves, ankles) and sometimes the face. They can cover large areas of skin, but they are a cosmetic problem only, rarely causing physical symptoms.


Essentially, spider veins result from slow blood flow and weakened walls in the veins – when this happens, blood pools and an enlarged blood vessel forms. The most common causes include exposure to extreme temperature variations, use of oral contraceptives, hormonal issues particularly in women, and ageing. Other causes include extended periods of standing, obesity, pregnancy, hereditary, or an injury which may have weakened the blood vessels.


• Avoid wearing high heels and opt for low heels.
• Rest your legs and avoid standing in one place for long periods of time. Wear mild compression or support hose if your job requires you to stand for long periods of time.
• Change your position regularly when standing. Or at the very least, flex your ankles periodically, as this will help pump the blood out of your lower legs.
• Avoid crossing your legs when sitting.
• Exercise regularly – walking, climbing stairs, cycling and swimming are particularly good at keeping your calf muscles in motion which will help to prevent blood pooling in the veins of your lower legs.
• Maintain your ideal body weight; and lose weight if you are over-weight.
• Eliminate junk food from your diet and eat healthily.
• Avoid tight-fitting clothes.

How to get rid of them

While spider veins are not a health risk, nor are they painful, they can be unsightly. If they bother you, there are ways to get rid of them.
Increased circulation to the surface of the skin helps to get rid of spider veins. And again, exercise – especially walking is very helpful.
Another option is sclerotherapy, which involves the injection of various solutions into the blood vessels. This irritates the vein’s lining and the resulting inflammation makes the blood vessel collapse, allowing your body to redirect blood to healthier veins. Other options include going for laser procedures and other non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments. These are considered cosmetic procedures and are not covered by medical aid.

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Written by

Ayanda Bikitsha is a freelance Beauty Journalist. She is currently freelancing as beauty editor for Real magazine and has a monthly page on ethnic hair in Cosmopolitan. She has been requested to give talks on African Beauty; and to contribute to beauty supplements and websites. Prior to freelancing, Ayanda was Beauty Editor of True Love magazine. She is a qualified beauty therapist and recently completed a course in Spa Management.

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  1. Lira

    This will definately help ladies out there, Im 1 of them.

    6 years ago •

  1. Ayesh

    They say its better to cross your ankles than your legs. Locking the ankles does not cut off blood circulation. Very good article. I will start moving more. Do not want to get these things! Exercise seems to be solution to everything. lol.

    6 years ago •

  1. Fuhri

    Will definitely start moving more, seeing that one can get rid of spider veins

    6 years ago •

  1. Melinda

    Forever sitting or lying down and crossing my legs and these veins are ugly looking so I will take the advice.

    6 years ago •

  1. Carlene

    Very helpful article with great advice – thank you!

    6 years ago •

  1. me

    Crossed legs, guilty and so part of me do not even notice doing it.

    6 years ago •

  1. Nancy Katy

    great article, mine was caused by standing to long every day on my legs.
    I had Sclerotherapy done to both my legs,but unfortunatly after a couple of years they came back again..
    When i had it done left my legs feeling heavy like bricks for 2 days.The results at the end were amazing,but like i said they did come back.Great Article Thank you.

    6 years ago •

  1. Williams-Pozyn

    Very interesting article – but it is difficult not to cross your legs when sitting or lying in bed reading. Must learn to not cross my legs.

    6 years ago •

  1. Anne

    I don’t even realise when I’m sitting cross legged! Will have to make an effort to avoid it from now on. Thanks for the article

    6 years ago •

  1. voges

    I agree keep moving and elevate your legs when you can

    6 years ago •

  1. Riekie

    Will keep this in mind when I see the first spider vein

    6 years ago •

  1. Lah

    So interesting, don’t know if I can give up on heels or sitting cross legged though :(

    7 years ago •

  1. Nuuh

    Thank u for the advice I have spider veins they can get very painful especially when its hot and I have been standing for a long time. I have tried a lot of things to solve the problem but will try your tips

    7 years ago •

  1. Henke

    I know it’s the first thing everyone says, but I’ve had spider veins (a lot) at the age of 25 and then I joined the gym and went at least 4 times a week and I think I have like 5 left… and they’re tiny.

    7 years ago •

  1. Dhlamini

    I heard sunflower seeds help on these but have not yet tried them.

    7 years ago •

  1. JamieBaby

    It is hard to stay away from the junk food and just as hard to not sit crossed leg, as this is thee only position comfortable for me.

    7 years ago •

  1. Cass1231

    Love my High heels occasionally, always more lady like to sit cross legged.. will have to opt for lazer treatment.

    7 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    I wish all of mine just went away. Probably ruined my veins when I was till young and now even though I don’t wear heals, have healthy weight and all the other stuff, nothing helps. Seems like it is to late for me :(

    7 years ago •

  1. Vuvoo

    I do all the wrong things, high heel, sitting crossed legged, but i will adjust

    7 years ago •

  1. Sam

    My husband has these. Not pretty at all. I’ll pass on the advice.

    7 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Kay

    I found rose geranium to be useful for spider veins. It’s hard getting over the habit of crossing your legs!

    7 years ago •

  1. Clarad

    Can also be camouflaged with body makeup! Im thinking Coverderm!

    7 years ago •

  1. Maria Meyer

    I must be one of the luckier ones, almost 36 and not a single spider vein as yet

    7 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    I always thought genetics played a role, seems it is rather ones actions that is the culprit.

    7 years ago •

  1. Boltman

    I wish I could refrain from sitting crossed legged but it’s the only way i feel comfortable. I have seen the results though and wish I had been informed years and years ago. Walking and cutting out junk food is part of my daily routine though :-)

    7 years ago •

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