September 28, 2010 by Danielle
A few weeks ago, I was in New York and one of my best friends, a girl who is quite the goddess–runs marathons, super smart and healthy–showed me a slight imperfection on her otherwise perfect body–small blue and red veins on the back of her knees and thighs, which had developed over the past few years. Both of us had always associated these veins with older women–so why did she have them and even more important how could she get rid of them? With her permission, I set out to find the answer in the form of a blog post.
Well, my friends these veins are caused by a backup of blood and are more commonly known as spider veins, due to their spidery appearance. They are a very close cousin to varicose veins and although most associate this condition with older women, it actually appears in about 50-55% of women and 40-45% of men in the US. Spider veins are caused by hormone changes, sun exposure, injuries and heredity, which might explain why my otherwise healthy and active friend has been recently afflicted with this condition.
If you find yourself in the same position as my friend, don’t get frustrated. There are multiple ways to prevent and alleviate the symptoms of spider veins. Some of the more extreme treatments include sclerotherapy (injecting liquid chemicals into the veins to seal them shut), laser treatments and other surgical procedures. Some simpler alternatives include wearing sunscreen, moving around every 30 or so minutes, and eating a low-salt, high-fiber diet. This means that even if you’re super active, but you sit at your desk all day, you need to get up and move and make sure you’re eating a balanced diet.
If you’d like more information on spider veins, check out this great site, compliments of the Women’s Health.gov.