There are multiple treatments available to get rid of spider veins. Unfortunately, you can’t completely get rid of spider veins at home*, but here is a summary of what you can do to improve their appearance at home and get rid of them in-office:
- Make-up and sunless self-tanner
- Compression stockings and socks
- Apple cider vinegar
- Massage (with essential oils)
- Heart-healthy diet
- Low-impact exercise
- Staying active
- Laser Ablation
Typically, a combination of home remedies and in-office treatments is the best way to get rid of spider veins. We’ll go into more detail about these remedies and treatments later in this article.
*When it comes to at-home treatments, there is little substantial scientific evidence of their efficacy in getting rid of spider veins. However, they may prevent new ones or stop current ones from worsening. Please stop any at-home treatment if you experience adverse side effects and see a doctor.
Spider veins are a common condition faced by women and men in the United States. You can develop dark purple, red, or blue spider veins on your thighs, legs, ankles, and even your face. Although spider veins are smaller and less visible than varicose veins, many people don’t like how they look and seek prevention and treatment.
Fortunately, there are several treatments that can help address this condition and get you back to feeling confident in those shorts!
First, let’s talk about the basics.
Spider veins are small, damaged veins that can appear close to the skin’s surface. They are typically small purple, red, or blue veins that appear on various parts of the body. Most commonly, spider veins appear on the legs, thighs, or face.
How do Spider Veins Form?
Our skin has a dense network of small veins called capillaries that run throughout it. These veins are very tiny, and the unaided eye cannot spot them.
Usually, the valves in your veins direct blood to flow toward the heart and shut tightly between heartbeats. However, when valve walls are weak, blood can flow backward and pool. As blood pools, spider veins and varicose veins develop.
So, spider veins generally start as small, tiny, invisible veins that run through (and just beneath) the skin that dilates and enlarge until they become visible.
Once they become visible, you can see the blood flow through the vein, resulting in a web-like pattern of spider veins that become noticeable on our thighs and lower legs.
Typically, people do not experience pain or swelling. Spider veins are harmless from a health standpoint and are easily treatable.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Spider veins are common, affecting over 50% of adults. Several risk factors contribute to a higher chance of one developing spider veins.
Spider Vein Risk Factors
- Genetics – If you have a family history of spider veins, you will have a higher chance of developing spider veins.
- Reproductive Hormones – Due to fluctuations in the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone, prepregnant women and menopausal women have a higher risk of developing spider veins.
- Age – We are more likely to develop spider veins as we age.
- Trauma, Wear, and Tear – Local trauma to an area may result in subsequent spider vein formation. Long-term use of topical steroids (cortisol, etc.) applied to the same place over the years will increase spider vein formation. Suntanning or excessive sun exposure over the years can increase the development of spider veins.
- Poor Circulation – A sedentary lifestyle where you sit or stand for long periods restricts blood flow. This lifestyle results in poor circulation and can lead to blood pooling.
Spider Veins Location
- Legs – Spider veins are common, primarily affecting the legs. You may see clusters of tiny red veins, or they may appear spread out here and there.
- Ankles – If you have a cluster of spider veins around your ankle, it could be an indication that there is serious chronic venous insufficiency. This condition occurs when large groups of blood vessels start to grow in the bottom part or” Corona” region near our feet, which can lead to more severe problems.
- Thighs – One of the most common locations to develop spider veins is on the thighs. Some studies suggest that crossing the leg increases spider vein formation on the inside of the lower thighs (just above the knee). However, there is no firm scientific evidence to support this theory.
- Face and other area – Less common are spider veins on the face and rarely on the abdomen & chest. Facial spider veins are most commonly found on the cheeks, nose, and chin, and they are typically harmless.
How To Get Rid Of Spider Veins on Thighs and Legs Naturally
Although there is no home remedy or medicine available that will eliminate the spider veins you already have, there are measures you can take to improve their appearance.
Here are a few ways to prevent and improve the appearance of your spider veins without medical intervention:
Make-Up and Sunless Self-Tanner
You can apply make-up and sunless self-tanning lotions on your legs to cover the spider veins and reduce their appearance. It won’t get rid of them, but the spider veins won’t be as noticeable.
Not only does sunscreen protect your skin from sunburn, but it helps prevent collagen and capillaries from breaking down. By protecting collagen and capillaries, you can reduce the risk of spider veins on your face or other areas exposed to the sun.
Compression Stockings and Socks
Compression stockings and socks may be helpful in addressing spider veins in some cases. When you wear compression stockings, the extra compression provides more support for your veins and encourages healthy blood circulation by decreasing vein pressure in your legs—this may slow down the formation of spider veins.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar may not get rid of veins that have already formed, but it is a great measure to take to stop new ones from forming. Using apple cider vinegar (ACV) may improve healthy blood flow and circulation. Improving circulation may prevent new spider veins from forming and keep current spider veins from worsening.
The most common way to use ACV is to apply it topically or use an ACV-soaked compress for 20 to 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.
Massage With Essential Oils
Massage by a licensed professional can help get your blood moving and reduce visible swelling in the veins. You can add essential oils that improve blood flow to optimize the massage’s effects.
Be careful not to put pressure directly on the veins. Too much pressure can damage fragile tissues.
It may be obvious that exercise is good for your health. That’s because it improves circulation and blood pressure levels, which can in turn prevent blood from pooling in the veins and forming spider veins and varicose veins.
Try a low-impact exercise, like cycling, walking, swimming, and yoga, that won’t add stress to your body.
Try not to sit or stand for long periods of time without moving. Aim to move or change body positions every hour or two to encourage blood flow.
Additionally, avoid crossing your legs, one knee over the other, as that can restrict blood flow and worsen leg veins. If you need to cross your legs for modesty purposes, cross them at the ankles with your knees together.
Now that we know why we get spider veins, let’s talk about how to treat them.
As we mentioned earlier, home remedies can only do so much and typically do not provide a permanent solution. If you want to get rid of your spider veins once and for all, the best option is medical intervention.
The best ways to get rid of spider veins are sclerotherapy and laser removal.
Related: Spider Vein Treatment at Vein Solutions Flint
Spider Vein Treatment and Removal
During a sclerotherapy procedure, your doctor will inject a saline solution into the spider veins. This damages the vein wall causing the veins to seal up over time.
Blood can no longer flow through the sealed vein, and over time the veins will fade away, improving the appearance of the treated area.
Since our body has so many veins, blood will simply redirect to healthier veins that are not visible to the unaided eye.
Sclerotherapy is a simple and straightforward treatment, typically taking less than 30 minutes to complete in-office. You walk in and walk out, and there is no downtime after the treatment.
Whereas sclerotherapy uses a chemical to ablate the spider veins, laser treatment uses heat/thermal energy to ablate spider veins.
In general, sclerotherapy is more effective than laser ablation.
Given that laser may be more painful and more expensive for most patients- sclerotherapy is the best first-line treatment for spider veins. But laser may be beneficial in some circumstances.
The best way to know which treatment is right for you is by consulting with a board-certified vascular surgeon near you.
Need a recommendation? Our vein experts here at VeinSolutions™ would be more than happy to give you a hand. Call or go online to schedule an appointment with us.
We have offices in both Flint and Lapeer, Michigan. Our Flint office is off I-75 and Hill Road, and our Lapeer office is off Highway 24.