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Spider Vein Prevention, Varicose Vein Prevention & Risk Factors

There is no way to completely guarantee spider vein prevention and varicose vein prevention, however the following measures may act to decrease the severity of existing varicose veins and/or prevent new veins from forming:

Exercise Taking periodic walks, or other similar aerobic exercise, activates the calf muscles which will 'pump' deoxygenated blood out of the legs, reducing vein pooling and pressure, critical to varicose vein prevention. Additionally, maintaining good general muscle tone will improve your overall circulation.

Weight Control Maintaining a sensible weight via diet or other measures will reduce blood pressure and stress on your veins.

Watch What You Wear Avoid wearing tight fitting clothing that can cause vessel constriction or injury. Wearing flat or low heels requires greater activation of calf muscles during walking and thereby improves leg circulation.

Leg Elevation Raising your legs while resting (especially above your heart level) will assist blood flow in the veins, yielding less pooling and better drainage in the leg veins.

Avoid Long Periods of Sitting or Standing If you must sit or stand still for extended periods, try to take a periodic walk or at least flex your ankles up and down. Also, avoid crossing your legs when sitting to aid in varicose vein prevention.

Wear Compression Stockings Graduated compression stockings can assist your venous circulation and help prevent conditions like deep vein thrombosis. Consider wearing them when taking long airplane or car rides.


The following factors may put one at increased risk of developing spider veins or varicose veins:

Heredity May be the biggest risk factor for spider and varicose veins. If someone in your family had them, there is a good chance that you will develop them as well.

Age As we get older, the elasticity in our vein walls decreases, increasing the possibility that valves will fail and varicose veins will develop.

Gender Females are much more likely to develop spider or varicose veins (although 25% of cases occur in males). Some research has indicated increased levels of female hormones may cause relaxation of vein walls (and possible failure).

Pregnancy The enlarged uterus can cause increased pressure on all veins. Combined with elevated hormone levels, many women get varicose veins for the first time while pregnant (or shortly thereafter). These veins usually get worse with subsequent pregnancies.

Lifestyle People whose occupations require them to stand or sit for long periods of time (e.g. waitresses, hairdressers) may be more susceptible to vein disorders.

Obesity Increased or excessive weight puts added pressure on your veins.

Injury Trauma may injure veins and cause valves to fail and/or blood clots.

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