Three ways to tackle unsightly spider veins
Spiders. Whether your instinct is to run screaming for the nearest shoe, or gently (and with trepidation) coax the wee creature onto a tissue and deposit his leggy-being outdoors — I think we can all agree we want him gone. But if you thought that bathroom showdown with an actual spider was bad, let’s talk about something worse: spider veins. And they’re not just for grandma anymore.
In fact, spider veins can spread their veiny goodness onto legs, and faces, and arms of any age — they’re cool like that.
Shape magazine recently quoted a California vascular surgeon as saying, “It’s a myth that only elderly women get spider veins; nearly everyone gets them at some point in their lives.” Also adding that it wasn’t an uncommon thing to see women in their 30s, 20s, and even teens with a few rascally veins. *Thanks Doc. Not.
Spider veins or telangiectasia (good luck pronouncing that one) are the result of enlarged but very small veins and can form due to pregnancy, genetics, sun damage, obesity, varicose veins, and steroid use. Standing for long periods, vigorous workouts, anything that puts stress on the vascular system, can all cause extra pressure inside of your veins, forming spider veins as they bulge and expand.
And while they’re typically painless and have no general health risks associated with them, they can be embarrassing. So let’s take a peek at 3 treatment options — from DIY to doctor approved — for ridding yourself of these unsightly arachnids.
Doctors take a two pronged approach to eradicating spider veins. For larger veins, and even varicose veins that may be accompanied by spider veins, doctors turn to a treatment called sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a liquid like hypertonic saline directly into the vein causing it to clot, dry up, and then get reabsorbed back into the tissue.
The less invasive (and less expensive) option is laser therapy. After setting the laser beam to the same wavelength as your blood cells, your doctor will target the beam at your skin, damaging the spider vein blood vessels with the same effect as sclerotherapy — the vein will clot, dry up, and be reabsorbed. The side effects for both are minimal, and most people are skipping off to work in 24 hours or less.
If neither of the above options sound all that appealing, you can always DIY by covering those spiders up with makeup or self-tanner. Having thin or light skin can make the veins more apparent, so darkening the skin with a little makeup or tanner can go a long way.
No, this is not a free pass to hit the tanning booth. In fact, wearing sunscreen, avoiding long periods of standing, and even turning to support stockings can help avoid getting spider veins in the first place. The sad fact remains, though, spider veins are likely to happen to all of us at some point or another, so… *sigh.