Veins are not something that most people think about until there is a problem. Although they are often overlooked, your veins play a vital role in the transport of blood back to your heart. They move oxygen and nutrients throughout your body so you can function optimally. When they aren’t working properly, your health will suffer.
Some of the most common vein issues are spider veins and varicose veins. Not only can these conditions be cosmetically unpleasant, they can cause pain and discomfort if left untreated. To avoid these problems, there are a number of things you can do every day to keep your veins healthy. A wholesome diet and healthy lifestyle choices can significantly reduce your risk of developing damaged veins.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are thin veins that look similar to spider webs. They can be a variety of colors, including red, purple or blue, and lie just below the skin. Spider veins typically develop in the legs but can also be found on the face, chest or hands.
The cause of spider veins is a malfunction in the valves within the vein. The valves usually prevent blood from flowing backwards as it makes its way through the vein. Spider veins develop when the valves weaken and allow blood to flow backwards. The blood pools and disperses resulting in a series of smaller veins that resemble spider webs or marble.
Anyone is at risk of developing spider veins. However, there is evidence that supports that spider veins are hereditary. People who sit or stand for long periods of time can develop spider veins as well as those who are pregnant. Spider veins are also more common as we age.
If you notice the appearance of spider veins on your legs, face or other part of your body, there are some self-care treatments that can help prevent new spider veins from developing. For existing spider veins, a board-certified dermatologist can suggest the best treatment options for you. Depending on the severity of your case, your doctor may recommend some of these common treatments for spider veins:
- Compression stockings
- Laser treatments
4 Tips for Healthy Veins
Caring for your health on a day to day basis is one of the best things you can do to improve your overall health and that of your veins. Follow these 4 tips to keep your veins healthy and working as they should:
Exercise has many benefits for our bodies, beyond just the physical. Regular exercise can be great for our mental health as well. Whether you participate in an exercise class or just take a stroll around your block, moving your body gets the blood flowing and is an effective way to care for your vein health.
Sitting or standing for long periods of time can cause spider veins to form. Be sure to take breaks hourly to get up and move around. If you are on your feet for long stretches, be sure to sit down or elevate your legs periodically throughout the day.
Eat lots of fiber.
When it comes to vein health, fiber is your best friend. Fiber works wonders for your digestive system, which actually helps develop vein health. Adequate levels of fiber in your diet can control your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, regulate your bowel movements and promote healthy digestion. All of these factors also contribute to greater vein health. Some good sources of fiber include:
- Brown rice
- Leafy greens
Drink plenty of water.
Our bodies need water to function. Without it, we wouldn’t survive more than a few days. There are many health benefits to staying properly hydrated including a boost in energy, improved skin tone and headache and cramp prevention. In addition to these, a hydrated system allows blood to flow more smoothly through our veins, contributing to increased circulation and overall health.
Eat a balanced diet.
While fiber is important for optimal vein health, it also matters that we eat a well-balanced diet. You want to make sure that you get a complete hit of healthy nutrients with every meal, including vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Leafy greens, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats should be staples in your daily diet.
Healthy, high-fiber diets and proper hydration paired with exercise help you maintain a healthy weight. And your weight is important when it comes to vein health. Excess weight can put more pressure on your veins, resulting in spider veins or varicose veins.
Spider Vein Dermatologist Atlanta Georgia
If you are suffering from unpleasant or uncomfortable spider veins and you live in the Atlanta area, contact the office of Buckhead Dermatology today. With two convenient locations in Buckhead and College Park, Dr. Straughn can evaluate your vein condition and start you on an effective course of treatment that is customized to your needs.