Varicose veins and spider veins are those mass of painful, raised blood vessels that twist and turn, usually found in the face and the legs. They are fairly visible underneath the skin, resulting in a tangled, swollen appearance of blue, red and purple veins. They are thought to be more prevalent in women as they age, and especially those whose lifestyle requires them to stand a lot, those who are overweight, and those who have excess estrogen (through birth control pills or pregnancy). These pesky veins are a result of sedentary blood that occurs when the valves become damaged. This makes it harder for the blood to travel against gravity to the heart. Thus, the blood just becomes concentrated in areas like the ankles, and the back of the knees forming this troublesome, twisted knot of veins.
For a simple, inexpensive remedy, try a pair of compression tights. Compression tights can be found over the counter at your local drug store or you can consult with a medical professional for prescription-strength stockings for more pressure. The pressure of the tights will encourage healthy blood circulation, which can improve the appearance and feel of the veins.
The most common and often the most effective treatment is a simple, noninvasive procedure that works to reduce the appearance of problematic veins and can have pain-reduction benefits. Sclerotherapy involves an injection directly into the veins which cause them to clot and scar, forcing them to form new, healthier veins. The appearance of the bulging, dark-colored veins should fade within a few weeks.
Exercise and a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet both have the potential to dramatically change the appearance and pain of problem veins. Low-impact leg exercises can help to remove some of the painful pressure as well as to strengthen the veins. Try exercising with the compression tights to reduce your risk of swelling. A healthy diet rich in fiber found in foods such as legumes, vegetables, fruits, and grains, antioxidants like berries and citrus, and magnesium found in avocados, leafy greens, bananas and sweet potatoes can also help with blood flow and swelling.
Horse chestnut supplement
A horse chestnut supplement can help thin out the blood and increase blood circulation and in turn, reducing vein swelling, leg cramps, water retention, and itching. Doctors recommend taking a supplement that contains 15 to 20 percent aescin (the chemical in the plant that causes its benefits) in a dose of 100 milligrams a day. Again, this treatment can help with swelling and redness but it will not be able to remove the veins completely.
A laser treatment can be applied both internally and externally to heat up the vein which causes it to scar up and become absorbed as scar tissue, leaving space for another healthy vein to form. Laser treatments can be used to remove the larger and more painful veins without surgery. This remedy can be a little more invasive, however, as it requires the patient to go under anesthesia and takes a bit longer than sclerotherapy for example.