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How does caring for my skin help prevent varicose veins and spider veins?

I read that certain lifestyle changes, such as maintaining good skin hygiene, can prevent varicose and spider veins. How does taking care of my skin help prevent complications with varicose and spider veins?

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Doctors Answers (5)

Taking care of the skin by avoiding sun damage, with good nutrition, etc., can help reduce the formation of spider veins on the face and other areas. However, varicose veins have many causes and skin hygiene will not be a significant factor in the likelihood that you develop these veins over time. The largest contributing factors for varicose veins are your genetics, number of pregnancies (wearing compression hose can help here), choice of shoes with high heels contributing to varicose veins by keeping the calf muscle contracted, and the level of physical activity (walking and light activity is more than adequate for maintaining good venous circulation).

Good skin care will not necessarily prevent varicose veins or spider veins. However, an underlying vein disease can cause the pooling of blood, which makes the skin thin, brownish and dry. Keeping the skin well moisturized will help prevent cracking and ulceration from vein disease. Taking care of the skin will not prevent veins from bulging or forming.

Well it can't hurt. Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is genetic in 70% of individuals if one parent has them and in 95% if both parents have them. They cause painful symptoms such as cramping, charlie horses, tingling, itchiness, numbness, and achy and restless legs. Frequent swelling at the day's end is also increased. Medical grade compression helps with vein care, as does exercise and frequent walking. A complete evaluation by your phlebologist will help guide and help plan long term care of your veins.

These are inherited problems increased by hormonal changes such as pregnancy. For varicose veins there can be an underlying saphenous reflux which can be diagnosed by ultrasound. Spider veins are a cosmetic problem and treated with injections and/or laser. If varicose veins are present there can be pigmentation, eczema type rashes, itching, etc. in the overlying skin. Keeping the skin well moisturized will help keep the skin healthy. Nothing you do on the skin can prevent varicose and spider veins.

Skin care is essential for those patients with severe venous insufficiency and skin breakdown. Spider veins are generally unrelated to skin care. Exercise, weight control, and avoidance of prolonged standing are the best ways to minimize the formation of varicose veins.

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