The Easy Thing You Can Do Each Day to Prevent Spider Veins

August 10, 2015
Who knew?

If there's one thing that can really cramp a woman's style, it's spider veins. And while these spindly little blue and red lines are mostly genetic (thanks, mom!) and usually surface on the legs, they can also crop up on an area of your bod that isn't so easy to conceal: Your face. (This is not a drill.)

Yep, the sun's UV rays don't just put you at risk for scary things like sunburn, age spots, and skin cancer, but spider veins, too—making that daily SPF you slather on more important than ever.

"UV exposure has a direct effect on the skin by breaking down collagen, which is the connective tissue that supports and holds the body together," says Luis Navarro, M.D., founder and director of The Vein Treatment Center in New York. "As the collagen starts to break down from the UV rays, the tissue becomes weak and the elasticity begins to stretch without springing back to normal. This weaker collagen results in decreased pressure surrounding our veins, which then makes them more visible through the skin."

RELATED: How to Get Rid of Those EVIL Spider Veins

While spider veins on the legs usually have a blue or purple look to them, facial spider veins are typically bright red and can sometimes be associated with flushing or blushing, says Tyler Hollmig, M.D., director of laser and aesthetic dermatology at Stanford Health Care in California. They're most likely to show up on the nose, cheeks, and neck, and things like sun exposure, spicy foods, alcohol, and hot showers can make them stand out more. "Whenever blood vessels experience heat, they tend to dilate, making themselves more visible," says Hollmig.

RELATED: The Part of Your Face You Absolutely Need to Protect from the Sun

Shutterstock.com

The best thing you can do to prevent pesky spider veins from sprouting on your face is to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen that's a minimum of SPF 30. Slather it on every two hours, and wear it even if you're staying inside since UVA light can penetrate glass windows, says Hollmig. Sun exposure can also cause spider veins to appear on the legs, too, so make sure you're protected all over if you're baring your gams.

If you're already sporting spider veins, don't fret. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, they're rarely a serious health problem and are totally treatable.

For starters, we can’t stress enough how bad tanning is for your skin. Sure, in the short-term it hides spider veins by darkening your skin, but the long-term skin damage will inevitably lead to flimsier collagen and—you guessed it—more spider veins (and skin cancer). Your cheapest option is concealing your spider veins with makeup or self-tanner. "There's also a new topical medicine called brimonidine that can help temporarily shrink these vessels," says Hollmig.

RELATED: What Happens To Your Body When You Wear High Heels

While these tricks can help you prevent new spider veins from forming, once you have them your body can't heal them on its own, says Navarro. If your spider veins have you totally buggin', it's best to seek treatment from a vein specialist or dermatologist. Options include laser therapy, which sends bursts of light through the skin and onto the vein, and sclerotherapy, during which a needle is used to inject a liquid chemical into the vein, which triggers it to fade after a few weeks.

--


Krissy Brady is a women's health and lifestyle writer who's so out of shape, it's like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).

veins.jpg
Previous Article
Why Some Guys' Semen Tastes Funky
Why Some Guys' Semen Tastes Funky

Care for a palate cleanser? ...

Next Article
The Playlist That'll Help You Run Your Fastest Pace Yet
The Playlist That'll Help You Run Your Fastest Pace Yet

Hey there, Ms. Speedy Pants ...