Spider veins, medically known as telangiectasias, are a cluster of thin, small veins that are usually red, blue or purple. They are visible under the skin and form a web-like structure, hence the name spider veins.
The condition occurs when the valves in the blood vessels become weak and cannot push the blood back toward the heart. Spider veins are often confused with varicose veins, which are larger, swollen veins filled with pooled blood. Spider veins can be considered a milder version of varicose veins.
Both spider veins and varicose veins can develop on any part of the body, but they commonly occur on the legs or the face.
While spider veins generally do not cause any major discomfort, they can be a cosmetic concern for many people.
- Causes of Spider Veins
- Symptoms of Spider Veins
- Preventing Spider Veins
- Home Remedies to Treat Spider Veins
- Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar
- Method 2: Massage
- Method 3: Hydrogen Peroxide
- Method 4: Witch Hazel
- Method 5: Essential Oil
- Method 6: Arnica Gel
Causes of Spider Veins
Some of the factors that contribute to weakening the valves in the blood vessels that ultimately results in spider veins are:
- Heredity – the condition is usually passed on through genes.
- Age – individuals above 50 years of age are more susceptible, as the valves in the veins become weak over time.
- Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, hormone replacement therapy or taking birth control pills.
- Standing or sitting for long hours.
- History of blood clots.
- Exposure to sun can cause spider veins on the face in people who have light-colored skin.
- Wearing tight garments that put pressure on the abdomen.
- Any trauma or injury to the skin.
- Congested liver – sometimes impaired detoxification and liver stress put extra stress on the veins.
Symptoms of Spider Veins
The primary symptom of spider veins is the appearance of web-like red, blue or purple veins on the legs or face. Other symptoms include:
- Throbbing pain in the legs.
- Tiredness or heaviness in the legs, especially after sitting or standing for long hours.
- Itching around the veins.
- Sometimes skin ulcers near the veins.
Preventing Spider Veins
- Do not sit or stand in one position for too long.
- Do not cross your legs while sitting.
- Walk or jog regularly to promote blood circulation in the legs and also strengthen your leg muscles.
- Don’t wear high heels too often.
- Maintain optimum weight.
- Elevate your legs for 30 minutes several times a day.
- Wear compression stockings.
- If you are light-skinned, always wear sunscreen when out in the sun.
- Do not drink too much alcohol, as it can dilate your veins over time.
- Lower your salt intake.
Home Remedies to Treat Spider Veins
In addition to taking preventive measures to curb the problem, a few home treatments can help you get rid of spider veins. Read on to learn six home remedies to get rid of spider veins.
Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is considered the most effective remedy to treat spider veins. Being anti-inflammatory in nature, regular application of apple cider vinegar helps bring down the swelling. Massaging it on the veins also increases the blood circulation and alleviates pain and discomfort.
Note: Use only raw, unprocessed apple cider vinegar for this remedy. Also, undiluted vinegar can cause burning on the skin. It is best to do a patch test first and only proceed with the remedy if it doesn’t cause irritation.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply apple cider vinegar on the spider veins
- Use a cotton ball to apply apple cider vinegar on the spider veins.
- Let it soak into the skin for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse it off with water and pat dry.
- Apply apple cider vinegar on the veins 2 times every day. You may notice some visible change after the first 2 weeks. Continue using it to get rid of spider veins completely in 1 month.
To increase the potency of the remedy, you can also mix 1 teaspoon each of apple cider vinegar and honey into 1 cup of water. Drink this before meals twice every day.
Method 2: Massage
Massaging the affected area regularly is also an effective way to treat spider veins. Massaging helps improve the blood circulation in the area, thus reducing pain and swelling.
Use either extra-virgin coconut oil or olive oil, as they are rich in antioxidants that can heal the blood capillaries and also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Single-Step Treatment: Massage the area with coconut or olive oil
- Lie down on a flat surface and place a pillow under your legs to raise them slightly.
- Warm up some extra-virgin coconut or olive oil and apply it over the veins.
- Using light strokes, massage the area for 10 minutes. Start from the foot, massaging the veins in an upward direction to promote blood flow toward the heart.
- Repeat the process 3 or 4 times every day to treat spider veins in 4 to 6 weeks.
Method 3: Hydrogen Peroxide
Food-grade hydrogen peroxide also serves as an excellent treatment for spider veins. It helps reduce inflammation and also draws out the toxins that may be causing the spider veins. Hydrogen peroxide also increases blood oxygen levels and improves blood circulation.
Things you’ll need:
- 3% hydrogen peroxide (anti-inflammatory) – ½ cup
- Water – 2 cups
- Cotton towel
Step 1. Dilute hydrogen peroxide with water
- Add ½ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to 2 cups of water.
- Mix the two well.
Step 2. Apply the diluted hydrogen peroxide on the spider veins daily
- Soak a cotton towel in the solution and squeeze out the excess liquid.
- Place the soaked towel over the affected area for 20 minutes.
- Use this remedy once every day to treat spider veins in 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the severity of the condition.
Method 4: Witch Hazel
The tannins present in witch hazel act as astringents, tightening the distended spider veins and restoring them to normal. It also helps reduce the pain and swelling in the affected area.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply witch hazel on the spider veins
- Pour some witch hazel on a cotton ball.
- Apply it on the affected area and let it dry completely. You need not rinse it off.
- Apply witch hazel on spider veins 2 or 3 times every day. You may get temporary relief after the first few uses, but it will take 6 to 8 weeks for the spider veins to disappear completely.
Method 5: Essential Oil
Massaging the veins with essential oils can also bring relief from spider veins. The oils have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that significantly reduce the pain and discomfort. Also, massaging with essential oils increases the blood circulation in the affected veins. Lemon oil in particular has vessel-strengthening properties.
Things you’ll need:
- Lemon essential oil (anti-inflammatory) – 2 or 3 drops
- Almond oil (carrier oil) – 1 tablespoon
Single-Step Treatment: Mix lemon oil in almond oil and apply
- Add 2 or 3 drops of lemon essential oil to 1 tablespoon of almond oil.
- Mix it well.
- Massage the veins with the oil, applying very gentle pressure. Make sure to rub in the direction of the heart.
- Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a day to see visible change after 1 month. Continue for next 2 to 3 months to get rid of spider veins completely.
Method 6: Arnica Gel
Arnica gel is derived from the plant arnica montana. It is used primarily as a topical anti-inflammatory treatment for bruises and wounds as well as joint and muscle pain. It also increases blood circulation to the area, which is beneficial to get rid of spider veins.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply arnica gel on the spider veins twice daily
- Apply the gel on the veins and let your skin absorb it completely.
- Apply it twice every day for 2 months or until the spider veins disappear.
- Sleep on your back with your legs elevated to reduce blood retention in the legs.
- Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water and juices. A hydrated body will prevent constipation, which otherwise can put pressure on the veins.
- To reduce spider veins on your face, sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated with soft pillows.
Summary of How to Get Rid of Spider Veins
Download this infographic.