Before summer started, you decided to finally do something about the unsightly spider veins on your legs. You had laser vein removal to eliminate the blue and red web-like veins. But, as summer goes on and you enjoy showing off your legs in a pair of shorts or a swimsuit, a nagging thought keeps coming into your head: what if the veins come back?
While the veins that were removed by the laser won’t return, it is possible for spider veins to develop in other areas of your legs. Keeping an eye on your legs and seeing your surgeon if you notice any new spider veins will help you keep your legs in tip-top shape. There are also a few things you can do to keep additional spider veins away.
Improve Your Diet
The healthier your diet, the less likely you are to develop additional spider veins. Eating a healthy diet will help keep your weight under control, which will reduce your risk for spider veins. Stick to foods that are low in sodium, as excess salt can lead to swelling and inflammation, making the veins more visible.
Eating a lot of fiber is a good idea, as well. Fiber helps keep you regular, which reduces the risk of developing varicose and spider veins. You can get fiber from vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Exercise helps keep spider veins away for a few reasons. It improves the strength and tone of your leg muscles and also strengthens the veins in your legs, improving blood flow. Spider veins often develop because blood collects or pools in the veins or because the blood backs up because it can’t flow properly.
To keep spider veins away, focus on exercises that build strength in the legs. Walking is a great exercise to take up if you’re new to working out. Try to go for a walk every day. As you get stronger, you may want to try more challenging exercises, such as running. You can also focus on strength training in the leg, such as using a weight machine with your legs, to reduce the risk of developing new spider veins.
Change Your Footwear
High heels may look great and add several inches to your height, but they are a disaster when it comes to spider veins. When you wear heels, your calf muscles don’t contract as much, so blood doesn’t flow through the leg as well as it should. There’s more pressure on the vein, making it more likely that visible spider veins will appear.
You don’t have to throw out all of your heels. Just save your high heels for special occasions and limit how long you wear them. For everyday life, flat shoes are better for several reasons. You’re able to contract your calf muscles when you wear them, which encourages better blood flow. Low-heeled shoes also tend to be more comfortable to walk around in, which may make you want to move about more.
Watch How You Sit
When you aren’t moving around, be aware of how you’re positioning your legs. Reducing the amount of weight and pressure you put on your legs will reduce the likelihood of the spider veins returning. Prop your feet and legs up when you sit, if possible, so that the legs are above the level of your heart. Doing so will improve circulation and help keep the blood from pooling.
Try to avoid crossing your legs when sitting. Putting weight on one leg from the other can injure the legs, increasing the risk for spider veins.
Choose Your Clothing with Care
Compression or support hose can help keep varicose veins and spider veins from developing or returning. While you want some pressure and support along the legs, you also want to be careful about tightness in other areas. For example, waistbands that are very tight can encourage visible veins to develop. The same is true of socks or stockings that are very binding at the top, or of pants that are so tight it is difficult to walk.
A number of factors cause spider veins, including your genes, exercise habits, and the amount of sun exposure you get. Spending a lot of time in the sun increases your risk for spider veins, meaning they are just one more reason why it’s a good idea to wear sunscreen every day. Apply the sunscreen before you head outside, then reapply every few hours, as long as you are outdoors.
The team that removed the spider veins in the first place can help you monitor your legs and detect if new ones are appearing. If that is the case, additional laser treatment or sclerotherapy can remove the new veins.
Quintessa Medical Spa, under the direction of Dr. Andrew Campbell, can help you stay on top of any vein troubles. The spa has two locations: 10604 N. Port Washington Road, Mequon, WI, and 2124 Kohler Memorial Drive, Sheboygan, WI. Call (262) 242-QSPA for a personal consultation in Mequon or (920) 458-QSPA for an appointment in Sheboygan.