Spider veins are a common complaint among women of all ages. Men sometimes get these webs of veins on the ankles, calves, or thighs, but it’s usually women who do. Some studies suggest that estrogen levels contribute to various types of venous insufficiency, including spider and varicose veins. This is one of those factors that cannot be mitigated. However, there are some factors that can be. We’ll discuss them here.
- Wear the right shoes. We don’t love the way this sounds. It’s nearly as bad as saying “always and “never.” Still, there is such a thing as the right shoe when it comes to minimizing the risk of spider veins. Research has shown that high heels, because of the position they put the ankle and leg in, increase the venous pressure in the lower leg. Increased venous pressure means that blood has a harder time moving upward out of the legs. It also means a higher likelihood of veins swelling.
- Elevate! Whether you’re already starting to see spider veins or you want to never see them, one of the best things you can do is elevate your legs for a few minutes every day. Some people do this right before bed; it is said to help promote good sleep to lie face-up with your legs against a wall. Some people elevate their legs by sitting in a recliner when they watch television at night. Any way you do it, it’s good to elevate because the position can decrease venous pressure and help move blood back toward the heart.
- Avoid sitting cross-legged. Crossing the legs impedes optimal blood flow through the compressed parts of the legs. For some, this is the area at the side of the knee. For others, it may be the ankles. For adequate circulation and vein health, experts recommend simply sitting with both feet flat on the floor or a stool, if that is more comfortable.
- Move often. Many people realize that exercise is good for vascular health. We’re not talking about that. Even if you walk for 45 minutes every morning, but you then spend 8 to 9 hours sitting at a desk (probably with legs crossed), you have a higher risk of spider veins. It isn’t about moving for a set time but moving throughout the day so blood does not have a chance of pooling in the legs. The ideal practice is to get up every hour and move the legs for about 5 minutes.
The team at Renaissance Plastic Surgery in St. Peters, MO offers a variety of services, including vein treatments, in a friendly environment. To schedule a visit with us, call 636-535-2933.