Ever since high school, I have slowly started noticing spider veins on my outside thighs. As someone who noticed spider veins on the other women in my family, I always assumed getting spider veins were apart of growing up and not something that’s preventable. I learned to accept my legs the way they are, but had I known there were ways to prevent getting spider veins, I would have begun preventative measures much earlier on.
According to Women’s Health, there are a variety of factors that can increase the risk of spider veins including age, medical history, hormonal changes, pregnancy and lack of movement. About 55 percent of women in the United States develop some type of spider veins therefore making them extremely common. Like myself, spider veins usually appear in the legs due to the pressure of body weight, force of gravity and the tasks of carrying blood up to the heart. Spider veins are a normal development in most women and very rarely a health problem, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept having them if you don’t want to.
Dr. Louis Navarro, the Founder and Director of The Vein Treatment Center has suggested the five tips below to optimize circulation and prevent getting spider veins that all women can fit in even during the busiest of days.
1. Get Regular Exercise
Any type of exercise that strengthens the “second heart” – the muscles of the calf and foot – is beneficial. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week.
2. Wear Gradient Compression Stockings
Getting gradient compression stockings require getting a prescription as they offer a significant amount of pressure, but provide a great way of fighting off spider veins while helping clothes fit smoother. Only sold in medical supply and drugstores, gradient compression stockings offer pressure on the veins and act like an added layer of muscle aiding in the performance of the “second heart” and venous circulation.
3. Avoid Prolonged Periods of Sitting and Standing
Rotating your ankles and feet whenever possible promote leg vein circulation. If you must stand for a long time, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes. If you must sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk every 30 minutes.
4. Elevate Your Feet
Raise your feet 6 to 12 inches above your heart whenever possible to assist circulation. It’s easiest to do then when sleeping.
5. Eat a High Fiber Diet
Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation, which in return limits pressure on the venous system and reduces your chances of developing new spider veins. Adding high-fiber foods including fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains help, in addition to eating less salt that can reduce swelling that comes with spider veins.
By helping your leg veins circulate the blood to your heart, you can prevent new spider veins and help your legs appear more even colored!