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, 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 (though in rare cases they might be a sign of underlying health troubles), spider veins 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.
Meet the Expert
Thomas E Eidson, DO, is a double board–certified physician in family medicine and a venous disease specialist.
Take 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.
Wear 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.
Try Horse Chestnut Extract
According to Eidson, horse chestnut seed contains the active compound called aescin, 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.
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. But 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.
Use Body Makeup If the Appearance Bothers You
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? Beyoncé's makeup artist, Sir John, told Refinery29 that he uses this trick to get the singer ready for appearances. It's probably more of a special occasion solution, best used in conjunction with Eidson's tips. 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.