The Itsy Bitsy Spider Vein
Posted On Jan 28, 2016
As a 20 or 30-something, it’s a feeling similar to finding your first gray hair or chin frizz. Don’t panic, it’s just a spider vein. Yet the entire idea of having a spider vein is beyond gross so I wanted to arm you with some leg wisdom.
VEIN QUICK FACTS
What are varicose veins?
Quite simply, these are enlarged veins that can be blue or red in color. They look like ropey cords, bulging out of your skin.
What is a spider vein?
Spider veins are similar but smaller and can lie near the skin surface. Spider veins can often be found on both your legs and face and with a web-like appearance.
- Occupations with prolonged periods of sitting or standing can lead to varicose veins.
- Varicose veins develop when the valves in the vein no longer functions properly.
- Lack of exercise, weight fluctuation, sun damage and genetics are also contributing factors.
- It’s a myth that only the elderly have vein issues because nearly everyone will get them at some point in their lives.
Suffice to say, vein health is important! It’s something to think about now so we don’t have veiny legs in the future. We asked an expert about some leg care practices one can do as a young adult to thwart a nasty vein from popping up.
Dr. Liza Eden Giammaria, a vein specialist from Sadick Dermatology in New York City, suggest the following:
Exercise: Get up and get going … a sedentary lifestyle is the culprit!
- Exercises/Activities that use the calf muscle help to promote blood circulation and healthy veins
- Walking is great because we use our calf muscle facilitating the return of blood back to the heart
- Other low-impact exercises work too such as Zumba, cycling or swimming
- Elevate those legs: Propping the leg up at the end of the day with the legs elevated to a level a bit higher than the heart help to drain the pooled blood from the lower extremities
Attire: Shoes & Socks
- Switch up your shoe game by ditching the high heels a few times a week; they limit ankle/calf motion, which in turn limits the ability to flex and extend one’s ankle/calf fully
- Flats (with appropriate support) are a better option as flats allow the “full range motion” of the calf muscle to fully contract and pump blood back to the heart
- This is why one often complains of leg aching or feet swelling after wearing high heels all day
- Compression garments (i.e. Spanx) such as dress or sports socks, stockings, leggings, thigh-high, etc. is encouraged
- They come in a variety of colors, textures, quality or hi-tech materials/thickness
- Graduated compression helps prevent pooling of blood in the legs and reduce swelling of the legs; this is one of the reasons (other than being sexy) that it feels so good to wear compression garments like Spanx
- Hydration: Water is good for keeping a healthy body and overall wellness including anti-aging skin control, flushing/cleansing the body, weight control and vein health
- The H 2 the O helps to decrease inflammation which has been related to weakening of vein walls and damage to the one-way vein valves
- Decrease salt intake which will retain your fluids and, in turn, provoke leg swelling
- Any job with prolonged sitting or standing (teachers, sitting at the computer, hairdressers, grocery clerks, flight attendants, health care providers…the list goes on) exacerbates/worsens veins
- Take breaks and walk around
- Pump those calves: Flex and extend one’s ankles up and down for a few minutes every hour
Supplements: Anti-inflammatory Properties
(protection from inflammation and oxidative damage)
NOTE: Always check with your physician first before taking herbal supplements
- Horse Chestnut Seed Extract: the active component aescin is the ingredient of the horse chestnut extract that has anti-inflammatory properties
- Vitamin C (citrus/plant-based bioflavonoid capsules or foods with Vitamin C content): Builds collagen and elastin thus supporting one’s skin and blood vessels to remain strong and flexible
- Gotu kola is a tropical plant that enhances the integrity of blood vessels and speeds wound healing
Thank you, Dr. Liza, for your wealth of vein information… visit EdenVeins.com for more info from this vein guru.
There’ll be no itsy bitsy spider vein climbing up my water spout!