Spider veins—those little purple clusters that show up just under the surface of the skin—are commonly associated with the aging process. However, Thomas E. Eidson, DO, a double board–certified physician in family medicine and a venous disease specialist, says that spider veins can appear as early as your teenage years. They typically surface in your 20s to 40s and become more visible as you age. While not usually a cause for concern, they can surely be a nuisance, which is why we asked Eidson how to get rid of them once and for all, or at least prevent them from getting worse.
In addition to age, genetics play a part in the occurrence of spider veins, also known as varicose veins. Pregnancy and injury can also exacerbate their appearance. Since none of us are exempt from these unwelcome discolorations, keep reading for Eidson’s tips on how to get rid of spider veins.
1. Diosmin Supplements
According to Eidson, spider veins are the result of little valves within the vein becoming weak or damaged. To support capillary permeability, elasticity, and venous tone, Eidson recommends taking diosmin supplements, but not without talking to your doctor first, of course.
2. Compression Socks
Keeping the venous pressure normal or reduced can prevent the formation of spider veins or decrease their appearance, says Eidson. In order to do just that, he suggests wearing compression socks, as they support the normal function of leg veins and prevent increased venous pressure. You can wear them throughout the day, and take them off once you return home or when you go to bed.
3. Horse Chestnut Extract
According to Eidson, horse chestnut seed contains the active compound called aescin that is believed to support the structures of veins and valves, which could possibly prevent spider veins from forming in the first place. Add a full squeeze of the dropper into two ounces of water and drink two to three times a day in between meals.
4. Body Makeup
OK, this one isn't from Eidson, but if you are self-conscious about spider veins, might we suggest body makeup to help cover the purple clusters? This formula from St. Tropez gives skin a lustrous glow without looking like heavy makeup. Set it with powder to avoid transferring the pigment to fabrics. It washes off easily with soap and water.
Eidson concludes that the only way to completely get rid of spider veins is with sclerotherapy injections. While the procedure can have side effects—namely inflammation and occasionally, blood clots—it is one of the only known ways to make spider veins disappear. So, just what is sclerotherapy? The in-office procedure is an injection that causes the vessels to collapse on themselves. The body then dissolves and absorbs the vessels, and your spider veins are no more.