Spider veins, also known as varicose veins, angioectasias, or telangiectasias, are swollen, twisted veins that one can see under the skin. Spider veins usually appear on the legs but can also appear on various parts of the body.
Spider veins occur when vein valves do not work properly, this could cause the veins to swell, thus, leading to spider veins.
Many people prefer treating spider veins via surgery. However, some simple lifestyle changes and natural treatments could alleviate spider veins.
You are more at risk of having spider veins if you are older, obese, and a female. Spider veins are also quite common during pregnancy.
In general, factors that increase your risk of having spider veins include; older age, obesity, being female, being born with defective vein valves, sitting or standing for a long period of time, pregnancy, history of blood clots on your legs, and family history of spider veins.
Symptoms of varicose veins include; visible swollen veins, itching, thigh or calf cramps especially at night, and heaviness or aching in the legs. If the flow of blood worsens, additional symptoms may manifest. These symptoms include; skin color changes on the legs, leg or calf pain, swelling of the legs, thickening and hardening of the skin of the affected leg, and skin sores (ulcers).
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with spider or varicose veins;
- Avoid standing or sitting in one position for long.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes.
- Strive not to cross your leg while sitting.
- Ensure you eat a balanced diet daily with foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Try to lose the extra weight if you are obese or overweight. Obesity is a potential risk factor for spider veins.
- Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes for a long periods.
- Ensure you stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water daily.
- Control your salt consumption. You can also opt for a low-salt diet.
- Include exercise in your daily routine. You could opt for strength training or cardiovascular training or both.
- If you have open sores, ensure you properly care for them.
- Stop smoking and reduce your alcohol consumption as they both contribute to the likelihood of developing spider veins.
- You could keep your leg in an elevated position when you want to sleep.
Below are natural treatments and home remedies for spider veins;
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Inflamed veins can be effectively treated with apple cider vinegar, thanks to ACV’s anti-inflammatory action. ACV also improves the circulation of blood reducing spider veins.
Soak a clean piece of cloth in the vinegar and place it on the affected area. Let it stay for half an hour before removing it. Do this remedy twice or thrice every day. Alternatively, mix 2 tsp of the vinegar in a glass of warm water and consume it twice every day for relieving spider veins. Make sure you use raw and unfiltered ACV for this purpose.
Ginger works great in breaking down fibrin. Fibrin is the blood protein that accumulates near the injured veins. Boil about 2 cups of water in a pan. Clean a 1-inch ginger root and cut it into slices. Add these sliced ginger to boiling water. Let it simmer for 8-10 minutes. Strain the tea and consume it slowly when it is warm. Repeat this remedy 2-3 times daily for several days. Do check with your doctor before using ginger for spider veins if you take blood-thinning medicines.
Massage works in a simple way to increase blood circulation of the affected area. Massage may also aid in reducing inflammation and pain. You may use either olive oil or coconut oil for massaging as these oils have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Make sure you choose extra virgin oil for maximum efficacy. For this remedy, warm up any of the above-mentioned oils and massage the affected area for at least 10 minutes. Do this 3-4 times in a day until you see an improvement in your condition.
4. Horse Chestnut
You can use horse chestnut for strengthening your veins and reducing spider veins effectively. Horse chestnut has an anti-inflammatory action which reduces the swelling and pain associated with the condition. You may buy gel of horse chestnut seeds from the market and apply it topically on the skin. Do not consume horse chestnut orally as it contains esculin which is a toxic substance.
To improve blood circulation in the affected area, you could massage the affected area with this garlic remedy. The anti-inflammatory benefits of garlic would reduce discomfort and pain. Garlic is also high in antioxidants which promotes healing. Crush some cloves of garlic and mix it with a little rubbing alcohol. Use this mixture to massage on the affected area for some time. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash the area thoroughly with water thereafter.
6. Vitamin E
This fat-soluble antioxidant is highly effective in treating spider veins. Furthermore, vitamin E has an excellent ability to promote healing. Vitamin E, being a readily available antioxidant, repairs the damaged veins. Antioxidants also neutralize free radicals in the body to promote better health. Include foods that are rich in vitamin E, such as green vegetables, wheat germ oil, vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds, in your daily diet.
7. Witch Hazel
The anti-inflammatory action of witch hazel helps in soothing the damaged veins, thereby, reducing its appearance. Witch hazel’s powerful anti-inflammatory action also reduces swelling and pain. Put some witch hazel solution on a cotton ball and apply it over the spider veins. Let it stay for half an hour before cleaning off. Repeat this remedy 2-3 times every day.
8. Cayenne Pepper
The active compound, capsaicin, present in cayenne pepper is helpful in increasing the blood circulation. Mix a quarter teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper in a cup of water and consume it through the first week. Gradually increase the amount of pepper by a quarter teaspoon every week until you reach one teaspoon of it every day.
9. Castor Oil
Being an effective anti-inflammatory agent, castor oil aids in increasing the blood circulation to the affected area. Furthermore, castor oil has an excellent ability to penetrate deep into the skin to promote healing. You may apply the oil topically on the affected area and let it stay for half an hour.
10. Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) not only improves blood flow but also relieves swelling in a natural way. Make a tea by infusing Gotu kola leaves in hot water for a few minutes. Consume this tea thrice every day for a visible result. You may also take supplements of Gotu kola if making the tea is not feasible, however, do check with your doctor to avoid before taking any supplements.
Spider veins can be treated with high amounts of the flavonoids present in marigold. For this marigold remedy, separate the petals of marigold flowers and wash them under running water. Crush them to obtain a paste. Spread this paste over the affected area before going to bed. Wash it off, thoroughly, the next morning.
Placing the affected area at an elevation may reduce some pressure and ease blood flow. Elevation would also help in reducing swelling and discomfort associated with spider veins. If you have spider veins in your hands and legs, you may place a few pillows under it to keep it at an elevated level while sleeping. For visible veins on the face, simply lie with your head at an elevated angle to reduce the pressure.
Applying either a hot compress or a cold one may benefit your condition. Warm temperature helps in fading out blood clots. So apply hot or cold compress whenever you notice spider veins appearing. If you have severe bruising, a cold compress may work better to minimize the bleeding through damaged veins.
14. Vitamin C
Increasing your consumption of vitamin C may help in boosting collagen production which in turn repairs damaged veins in a faster way. This vitamin is also known to strengthen blood capillaries and prevent them from getting damaged. Incorporate foods such as oranges, lemons, red peppers, and cauliflower in your diet to obtain adequate levels of vitamin C.
Cabbage has a high concentration of various vitamins and minerals that promote healing. Make a paste of cabbage and place it over the affected area. Wrap a clean cloth around it and let it stay for 2 hours. Then, remove the poultice and wash the area thoroughly. Do this remedy twice every day.
16. Grape Seed Extracts
The seeds of black and red grapes are high in bioflavonoids which acts by reducing inflammation and improving blood flow. Therefore, grape seed extract makes for an effective remedy for spider veins. All you have to do is take about 720 mg of grape seed extract orally every day. Consult your doctor before taking any supplement.
17. Fiber Intake
Eating foods rich in fiber may indirectly benefit the treatment of spider veins. Often, constipation results in increased pressure on the veins which may get damaged. Fibrous foods help in easing constipation and relieve the pressure exerted by blood on the veins. So, include foods such as oats, peas, beans, berries, and flaxseeds on a regular basis to increase your fiber intake.
Hawthorn has high medicinal value. It contains bioflavonoids, sulfur, zinc and vitamin C which have a positive impact in treating spider veins. Simply prepare a tea by adding a teaspoon of hawthorn flowers in half a cup of boiling water. Allow it to steep for a few minutes and strain it. Drink the tea on regular basis to reap the benefits.
19. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba has an incredible ability to strengthen the veins and reduce damage caused to them. It also increases blood flow by relaxing the irritated veins. 120-240mg of ginkgo biloba extract divided into 2-3 doses every day is recommended for attaining positive results. Make sure you talk with a herbalist to know how to start on its doses.
20. Pine Bark
Pine bark has a rich quantity of oligomeric proanthocyanidins which repair the damaged tissue in a highly effective manner. Take a fresh bark from a pine tree and wash it thoroughly. Boil about 8 cups of water and add the pine bark to it. Cover it and boil until the water reduces to half. Strain it and place the liquid aside. Again boil the same pine bark in 4 cups of water until it reduces to half. Strain the liquid and mix it with the one previously kept aside. Now simmer the solution until it reduces to 1/4 of its quantity. Cool it and put it in a bottle. Apply the resultant decoction on the affected area three times daily.
Bilberry is widely used in traditional medicine for treating various conditions such as poor blood circulation, eye problems, diarrhea, and diabetes. It is also effective in treating spider veins due to the presence of proanthocyanidins, tannins, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. Taking the extract of bilberry in doses of 20-40mg thrice a day is helpful in treating the condition. Avoid taking it if you are using pine bark for treating spider veins.
22. Green Tomatoes
The acidic substances present in seeds of green tomatoes acts as an anti-coagulant, thereby treating spider veins. It also improves blood circulation. Take a green tomato and cut it into thin slices. Place it over the spider veins and wrap it in a cotton cloth. Let it stay as long as you feel the typical tingling sensation. Do this remedy several times in a day.
The active ingredients present in chamomile, such as its polyphenols and tannins, are widely used to deal with cardiovascular problems. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it even more effective in treating spider veins. All you have to do is prepare a cup of chamomile tea and mix some honey with it. Drink it every day for a soothing action.
24. Tea Tree Oil
Using tea tree oil to massage the spider veins in a gentle manner will help in reducing inflammation and promote healing. For this remedy, add a little amount of tea tree oil in a carrier oil or aloe vera gel and massage it on the skin for a few minutes. Repeat it once every day to reduce the appearance of spider veins effectively.
Turmeric is one of the best remedies for reducing spider veins. It contains curcumin, a phytochemical that has powerful anti-inflammatory action. Simply take a glassful of warm milk and add 1 tsp of powdered turmeric. Stir well and consume it every day.
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