By Wendy Morgan

Spider veins, a smaller version of varicose veins, are enlarged veins caused most often by sluggish blood circulation or a tear in the vein that causes blood to seep and pool beneath the skin. The veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet due to the fact that standing and walking increases the pressure in the veins of the lower body.

Woman applying cream to leg
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woman running lotion on thigh


Low section view of two people walking on the beach
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women walking on beach

Spider veins can occur at any age, in both men and women, but most frequently seem to affect women in the childbearing years and older ages. They are genetic.

Prevention of vein problems is much easier than treatment, so avoid standing in one place for long periods of time, as this is a direct contributor to spider veins. If you must be on your feet, stretch or take walks periodically. Do not wear tight clothing, especially around thighs and ankles. Exercise also gets your blood flowing while strengthening your muscles. Losing weight, if you are overweight, can take the burden off blood vessels in your legs and feet.


Woman's feet and shoes
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woman's feet

Spider veins may vary in size and often look like a spider's web. They are found close to the skin's surface and are often red or blue in color. Spider veins are most common in thighs, ankles and feet and can even sometimes appear on the face. They most often have no associated symptoms.


Woman putting lotion on her leg
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woman applying vitamin K cream to legs

There are a few home remedies you can try to get rid of unsightly spider veins. Apply a few drops of witch hazel directly to skin and rub in three times a day. This should help fade the veins over a few weeks' time. Discontinue use if you experience an allergy to the witch hazel.

Apply vitamin K cream to the affected area daily for 2 to 8 weeks. Vitamin K causes the blood seepage in the area to clot, so that the vein can heal.

Take 20 to 40 mg bilberry extract three times a day. Bilberry extract, which can be bought at a health food store, stimulates the formation of new capillaries while strengthening capillary walls.

Taking gingko biloba can also aid in fading spider veins. Gingko biloba enhances tissue oxygenation and circulation.

Vitamin C and E supplements can also be taken to aid in faster healing and improve circulation.