Spider veins are tiny swollen blood vessels which are easily discernible through the skin. They appear like a web of thin and twisted purple or red, jagged lines and are most often seen on the inside of the legs, ankles, face and thighs. When the valves in these superficial veins become weakened they are unable to push the blood towards the heart and the blood flows backwards and accumulates in the veins. This results in swelling and when the blood begins to stagnate in them they turn blue, purple and red.
Spider veins, also known as telangiectasias or angioectasias, are small, dilated blood vessels.
The affected vessels appear like thin red or blue lines on the surface of the skin or mucous membranes and look like spider webs or tree branches.
This problem mostly affects the legs, hands and face, especially around the nose, cheeks and chin.
Spider veins are no fun, right? These veins are basically a smaller version of a varicose vein that settles into your skin. These enlarged veins are caused most often by sluggish blood circulation or a tear in the vein. That causes blood to seep and pool beneath the skin, and then ta-da, a spider vein appears.
Though usually harmless, they can sometimes cause symptoms like swelling, pain, throbbing, rashes and itching around the veins as well as restless legs.
At times they can cause complications, such as skin ulcers, bleeding, phlebitis and deep vein thrombosis.
As spider veins are more of a cosmetic than a health problem, people look for ways to reduce the unsightly appearance of these veins.
Many people opt for surgery, but with some simple lifestyle changes and natural remedies, you can easily reduce the appearance of spider veins, improve the symptoms, support good circulation and prevent a recurrence of the condition.
Note: Consult a doctor if the veins are warm to the touch, very tender and painful.
Ginger helps improve blood circulation, making it an effective treatment for spider veins.
Ginger also helps break up fibrin, a blood protein that builds up in areas where your veins are injured. A 2001 study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Sciences confirms the fibrinolytic enhancing property of ginger.
- Cut 1 inch of fresh ginger root into thin pieces.
- Add the ginger slices to about 2 cups of boiling water.
- Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
- Strain, add honey and drink it while the tea is still warm.
- Enjoy ginger tea, 2 or 3 times a day.
Note: If talking blood pressure medication or blood thinners, consult your doctor before using ginger.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another natural treatment for spider veins. It improves blood flow and circulation, which helps reduce swelling and pain to a great extent.
- Saturate a piece of cloth with raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Place the cloth on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes. Do this 2 or 3 times a day for several days.
- Also, add 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and stir well. You can also add a little raw honey for taste Drink it twice daily.
Regular massage of the affected area is another easy and simple way to improve circulation, which can help get rid of spider veins. It also helps reduce pain and inflammation.
For massage, it is recommended to use extra-virgin olive oil or extra-virgin coconut oil due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, these oils quickly penetrate deep into the skin.
- Slightly warm the oil of your choice in a microwave.
- Use this warm oil to massage the affected veins with firm yet gentle strokes.
- Massage for 10 minutes at a time, 3 or 4 times daily.
Poor blood circulation is one of the leading causes of spider veins, especially on the legs. Exercise improves blood circulation throughout the body, strengthens your body and improves the veins’ strength.
Moderate daily exercise even helps fight obesity and reduces the risk of other venous insufficiency problems.
- Walk for 30 minutes or more, at least 5 times a week. Also, get up and walk around every 2 to 3 hours for 10 minutes.
- To strengthen your calf muscles, raise yourself up on the balls of your feet and then slowly lower yourself back down for 10 to 15 minutes, a few times a day.
- Include circulation-boosting activities, such as jogging, swimming and climbing stairs, in your daily routine.
If you have spider veins on your hands and legs, elevation is a good option to relieve the pressure in the veins. Elevation even improves blood circulation to the affected area.
- For spider veins on the legs, place a pillow under your legs as you sleep on your back. Also, keep the legs elevated for 15 minutes at a time, several times a day.
- For spider veins on the hands, elevate the hands by placing them on a few stacked pillows for 15 minutes, 4 or 5 times a day.
- To reduce the discomforts of spider veins on your face, sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated with the help of soft pillows. Your head should be at least a couple of inches above your body.
The vitamin C present in oranges is very crucial in the treatment of spider veins. Vitamin C is required to strengthen the blood vessels and improve the circulation of blood. It is also an excellent antioxidant which protects the tissues from damage. Eat oranges everyday on a regular basis.
7. Castor Oil
Castor oil has anti-inflammatory and stimulating properties. It stimulates the blood circulation and increases the flow of blood to the blood starved tissues. It prevents the blood from clotting in the veins and reduces their swelling. Massage the affected areas with warm castor oil twice a day.
Eating guavas everyday can improve spider veins considerably. Guava is rich in vitamin C which is essential for the strength of the blood vessels and it has large quantities of vitamin K which improves blood flow to the tissues and prevents discoloration.