Spider veins are no fun, right? These veins are basically a smaller version of a varicose vein that settle into your skin. These enlarged veins are caused most often by sluggish blood circulation or a tear in the vein. That causes blood to seep and pool beneath the skin, and then ta-da, a spider vein appears.

Prevention

Spider veins can occur at any age, are genetic, and can be found in both men and women. Most frequently, though, they seem to affect women in the childbearing and older years.

Prevention of vein problems is much easier than treatment, so it’s best to act on these early! 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 as often as possible. Try not to wear tight clothing, especially around your thighs and ankles. Exercise also gets your blood flowing while strengthening your muscles, so get moving to prevent these types of veins. Staying at a healthy weight can also take the burden off blood vessels in your legs and feet.

Symptoms

Spider veins may vary in size and often look like a spider’s web (get it?!). They are found close to the skin’s surface and are usually red or blue. 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 other than putting a damper on your skin’s appearance.

Treatments

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 it in 3x a day. This should help fade the veins over a few week’s time. Obviously stop using if you experience an allergy to the witch hazel.
  • Apply Vitamin K cream to the veins daily for 2-8 weeks. Vitamin K causes the blood seepage in the area to clot so that the vein can heal.
  • Try taking 20-40 mg Bilberry Extract 3x a day. Bilberry extract—which can be bought at tons of health food stores—stimulates the formation of new capillaries while strengthening capillary walls.
  • Taking Gingko Biloba can also aid in fading spider veins since it enhances tissue oxygenation and circulation.
  • Vitamin C and E supplements can also be taken to aid in faster healing and improve circulation.