Spider veins are small, dilated blood vessels. And while they’re harmless, they can cause symptoms like pain, swelling, rashes, and itching around the veins. In addition, spider veins can sometimes make women feel uncomfortable in their body, forcing them to cover their legs.
Spider veins usually occur as a direct result of weak, damaged valves in the veins. Some factors can make spider veins even more likely to appear. They’re more of a cosmetic problem than a health problem. But in any case, people (especially women) are always looking for ways to get rid of spider veins.
There are both natural and medical ways to reduce the appearance of the veins.
One thing to note: When your veins are tender, painful, and warm to the touch, it’s best to consult a doctor.
There is no clear answer why some people develop spider veins and others don’t. Genetics play a role, especially hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Spider veins are more frequent and more likely to appear in women than men.
With that in mind, here are some of the risk factors that might contribute to developing spider veins.
- Increasing age. As you get older, the valves in your veins weaken and don’t work well as before.
- Medical history also plays a role. If you are born with weak vein vales, the risk is higher. Genetics also falls in this category, as having family members with vein problems increases your risk.
- Hormonal changes that happen during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause might make it more likely to develop spider veins. In addition to these hormonal changes, taking birth control pills as well as other medicines with estrogen and progesterone will disrupt the hormonal balance and contribute to spider veins.
- Obesity is another risk factor. That extra weight can put even more pressure on your veins.
- Lack of movement, especially for those working in sitting or standing positions for a long time. This will force the veins to work harder in order to pump blood.
- Last, but not least, sun exposure can cause spider veins.
With that in mind, what are some of the natural ways to eliminate spider veins?
Let’s take a look.
We all know this spice has many health benefits. One of the biggest benefits of ginger is in improving our blood circulation. As such, the spice is the perfect, effective treatment for spider veins. In addition to improving circulation, ginger also breaks down fibrin, the protein that builds up in areas where veins are injured.
For the most effective treatment, drink a cup of ginger tea. The best way to prepare it is to cut an inch of fresh ginger root into thin pieces. Bring water to boil, and add the ginger slices to two cups of boiling water. Let it simmer for 10 minutes on low heat, and then strain. Add honey if you want a sweetener, and drink it while warm. Drink ginger tea two or three times per day.
Important note: If you are taking any blood thinners or similar blood pressure medications, consult your doctor first.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Let’s see how to eliminate spider veins with another kitchen staple: the powerful apple cider vinegar. Same as ginger, ACV has many health benefits, and can be used for many different conditions. For your spider veins, saturate a piece of cloth with raw ACV. Place the cloth on your veins and let it stay there for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat the treatment three times per day for several days.
Additionally, you can add 2 teaspoons of ACV to a glass of water and drink it two times per day to improve blood flow and circulation.
3. Cayenne pepper
Most of the problems with spider veins are linked to poor circulation. Therefore, ingredients that improve circulation—like cayenne pepper—are very useful. Cayenne contains capsaicin, a compound that can greatly improve your blood circulation and ease the pain of swollen veins.
For the treatment, add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder to a cup of hot water. Stir it well, and drink it two times per day until the veins start to disappear.
Additionally, make it a habit to include more cayenne pepper in your regular cooking habits. Just be careful: pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid cayenne pepper.
4. Witch hazel
Moving on with the ingredients for how to eliminate spider veins, witch hazel reduces the visual symptoms of the condition. In addition, witch hazel strengthens your blood vessels, which in turn reduces the appearance of the veins.
For the treatment, use a cloth and dab witch hazel extract on the affected area. Let it dry out on its own, and repeat the treatment two times per day. Another option is to cook a cup of tea. For this remedy, steep ½ cup of witch hazel leaves in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain, and let the water cool down. Apply on the veins using cotton ball, and let it stay there for 15 minutes.
One of the more popular herbs in homeopathic and alternative medicine is also effective for treating spider veins. This herb helps relieve the aching and discomfort caused by the veins. Most of the arnica herb compounds help with inflammation, swelling, and pain.
The best way to use it is to apply arnica-based gel or cream on the affected area three times per day. You can also find arnica supplements, but only take the pills after consulting with a physician.
6. Horse chestnut
Continuing with herbs, horse chestnut will strengthen your veins and reduce the appearance and discomfort caused by spider veins. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, the herb will reduce the swelling.
Apply horse chestnut gel on the affected area. An alternative treatment is to mix 1 tablespoon of tincture and 10 tablespoons of distilled witch hazel. Apply this solution to the affected area two times per day.
Important notice: If you have kidney or liver disease, don’t use this herb. Additionally, pregnant and nursing women should avoid horse chestnut.
Now that we’ve looked at the herbs and home products you can use, let’s focus on some other forms of treatment for spider veins. Massage, for example, is one of those simple, easy ways to improve circulation. We already mentioned that good circulation helps with appearance of spider veins.
For a simple massage, use olive oil or coconut oil, both of which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Warm the oil in the microwave, and then massage the affected area for 10 minutes, using gentle strokes. Repeat three times per day.
When it comes to exercising, people with spider veins should be very careful. You need to exercise in moderate amounts to improve blood circulation. Very intense, long workouts may make the situation worse. It’s important that you don’t put excessive pressure on your body.
In terms of moderate exercise, walking for 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week is more than enough. You also need to strengthen your calf muscles (you can find many exercises online). Jogging, swimming, climbing stairs, hiking, and similar circulation-boosting activities are also recommended.
Elevation is always a good option to relieve the pressure in the veins. If you have spider veins on your legs, place a pillow under your legs when you sleep on your back. To improve circulation, keeps the legs elevated for 15 minutes at a time, several times per day.
10. Compression stockings
This is one of the last resorts you can use. Stockings are available in knee-high, waist-high, and thigh-high length. All are helpful in reducing discomfort.
Wear them during daily activities to provide extra support and relieve the symptoms linked with spider veins, like swelling and pain. Always consult your doctor for the type and length of compression stockings.
The best way to eliminate spider veins is to prevent them as much as possible, and for that, we’ll give you some tips. These tips also work to relieve the discomfort of spider veins.
- Never cross your legs while sitting.
- Don’t sit or stand in the same position for a long period of time.
- Lose a few pounds and maintain a healthy body weight to relieve pressure.
- Always wear comfortable shoes.
- Don’t wear high heels for a long period of time.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing.
- Keep a close eye on your salt intake; try to maintain a low-salt diet.
- Use sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful exposure to the sun and ultraviolet rays.
- Keep your body hydrated by drinking enough liquids through the day.
If all else fails
If you can’t get rid of spider veins using natural treatments, you can always look to surgery as a last resort. There are two types of surgery you can try:
- Sclerotherapy, which is a procedure in which the doctor injects the veins with a solution that scars and closes the veins. This causes the blood to reroute through healthier veins. After few weeks, the spider veins should fade. This procedure is effective when done correctly, but the same vein might need to be injected more than once.
- Laser surgery is the last resort. It’s a procedure in which physicians send strong bursts of light into the vein to make the spider veins fade and disappear. No needles are used.