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Spider veins in Houston are tiny veins under the skin that appear darker than normal and can cause itching or burning of the skin. Spider veins are often unsightly, and many people feel understandably insecure about the appearance of red or purple, web-like veins. Spider veins are different from varicose veins, which tend to indicate a more serious underlying medical problem and can cause leg pain, heaviness and cramping. However, both types of veins occur in the lower extremities as the result of pooling blood. Although the biggest risk factor for getting spider veins is your genetics (family history), there are some things you can do to prevent them. Keep reading to learn how leg elevation, frequent exercise, compression stockings and good footwear can prevent spider veins.

Leg Elevation

Preventing spider veins is sometimes a matter of simply keeping your legs elevated when you can. If you are like most people, your job may require a great deal of sitting or standing. When you are sedentary, blood can accumulate and pool in your lower body and legs. To prevent spider veins, try to avoid standing for long periods of time. When seated, try to occasionally elevate your legs to decrease the pressure on your veins. When the blood exerts too much pressure in concentrated areas of tissue, the veins can become weak and spider-like.

Frequent Exercise

Regular exercise goes a long way towards preventing spider veins and easing symptoms of vascular disease. Even if you have an occupation that requires you to be behind a desk, try to get up for a brisk walk every hour or two. Even a short period of activity is highly effective in promoting blood flow.

Compression Stockings

Graduated compression stockings are also effective at helping to circulate the blood in your legs. These stockings are tightest at the ankle, with the pressure gradually decreasing up the legs. This helps to remove the pooled blood from the legs. Unlike the old days when these were considered “granny hose”, compression stockings are now much more fashionable, and come in sheer forms, leggings, and lots of different colors.

Good Footwear

Women who wear high heels regularly can have higher rates of both spider veins and venous insufficiency. When your calf muscles contract, they help to pump the blood out of the legs and back toward the heart. High heels disable the calf muscles from fully lengthening and contracting during walking, causing more blood to pool in the legs. Conversely, flat or low-heeled shoes promote significantly healthier blood flow.