my sisters have spider veins on their legs around their knees. I would love to avoid getting these! what can I do best to prevent spider veins from developing?
How Can I Prevent Spider Veins?
Doctor Answers (10)
Spider veins are tough to prevent
Spider veins (those smalll less than 1 mm veins on the legs) are tough to prevent since they are mostly related to our genetics ahd hormones. Patients with family history of spider veins are more likely to develop the same condition themselves. Women tend to get spider veins more than men due to our estrogen levels-- if you notice more spider veins occuring after starting a birth control or estrogen replacement, you can try discontinuing to see if that may improve.
Walking, exercise, and compression stockings are great options to prevent varicose veins (the bulging veins), but they do little to prevent spider veins.
The good news, though, is that they are easy to treat with sclerotherapy by an experienced vein specialist. So rest assured that eventhough you may get them like your sisters, there are effective methods to get rid of them!
Dr. Margaret Mann
Spider veins are hard to prevent but easy to treat
It's hard to beat heredity and hormones that cause spider veins. Some spider veins come from sundamage, so sunprotection helps a bit.
Compression stockings help prevent varicose veins rather than spider veins.
Sclerotherapy (and occasionally laser) works so well when done by an experienced physician that there's rarely a reason to put up with spider veins.
Sclerotherapy and support stockings work to get rid of spider veins
Foam Sclerotherapy or glycerin sclerotherapy injections are probably the best way to get rid of spider veins at roughly $350-450 per session and usually 2-3 sessions 6 weeks apart. Compression stocking are helpful to prevent new ones but sometimes they are going to come regardless. Laser treatment are getting better but aren't there quite yet for leg spiders.
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Compressions stockings are best for preventing spider veins
Compression stockings (such as Sigvaris or Jobst) which offer graduated compression (tigher in the feet area, and looser up on the leg) are the best thing in my opinion for preventing the formation of spider veins. This is why we carry compression stockings in our office and highly encourage patients to wear them after their vein procedures in our office.
For prevention of spider veins in the future, I recommend to my patients to wear compression stockings about 3 times a week. There's no hard and fast rule to support the optimal amount of time for wearing stockings per week, but I feel that 1 time a week is better than none, and 3 times a week is better than 1 time a week, etc. I picked 3 times a week, because it seems "do-able." (even in hot summers in Modesto, CA - where I am located).
After compression stockings, I believe that regular lower body exercise can help to minimize spider veins.
Even with compression stockings and regular lower body exercise, we still see patients that need repeated yearly sclerotherapy injections. If you ask these patients what is the best way to prevent spider veins, they will say compression stockings, exercising, and once a year (or every other year) sclerotherapy/laser sessions for the new spider veins. Everyone is different and have different results from laser/sclerotherapy/compression stockings/exercise.
Spider veins can be caused by many factors such as:
Sun exposure possibly
Many of the above can't be helped.
Please see a doctor in person to get formal medical advice.
Preventing spider veins
spider veins are due to genetics. there may be a link to sun exposure. so sun screen with a high spf is beneficial in helping. otherwise their are few preventitive measures. sclerotherapy and veinwave for the fine red veins works best.
Some tips for spider veins
Some factors regarding spider veins you cannot deal with. These would include genetics, sex and age, all of which are factors in causing this troublesome condition.
Pregnancy is a factor in causing spider veins, but I doubt whether you would be so troubled by them that this would be a factor.
Things you can change:
1) Wear compression stockings (Sigvaris, Jobst) at least twice a week.
2)Try to move around as much as you can if you have an occupation in which you tend to stand in the same place: hair stylist, teacher, clerk etc.
3) Do not cross your legs
4) Keep your legs even to your body as much as possible. Use a hassock watching television or reading.
I am sure there are a host of sites on the internet selling creams and potions to rid you of these areas ( or prevent them). They are worthless.
Preventing Spider Veins
Prevention is always best but not practical given our sedentary lifestyle and underlying risk factor for venous disease. You can't change your family history because you are born with that and genetic predisposition.
You can help yourslef by using your calf muscles, which are the leg pumps that pump blood out of your legs. Walk regularly and exercise. If you can't and have a desk job, move your ankles (flex and extend) 15 times every 30 minutes as a minimum to pump blood out of your legs or get up and walk every 15 minutes, like walking to the water fountain or to the xerox machine and back. This will prevnet blood pooling in the legs, which over the years can cause damage to your vein valves and cause venous reflus disease.
Also, wear support stockings. They should be fitted properly for maximum benefit. Finally, take horse chestnut extract, 200 mg twice daily. This has been shown in the Cochrane study to be as effective as wearing compression stockings in alleviating symptoms related to venous reflux disease.
Spider veins prevention can be challenging
Spider veins are caused by a proliferation of capillaries and venules within the dermal and subdermal elements of the skin.
The causes of spider veins include genetics, hormones, sun exposure, and aging. These are all very difficult factors to avoid, and it is thus very difficult to prevent spider veins altogether.
I prescribe the Omega intensive varicose vein complex cream to minimize the effects of spider veins. This provides a theoretical and functional benefit to patients with a history of spider and varicose veins.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.