What To Do About Those Spider Veins

My mother, blond, pale and beautiful, never wears shorts or goes without some sort of nylons or tights. The world will never see her bare legs if she has anything to say about it. The light color of her skin isn't the issue. It's the spider and varicose veins that she's desperate to conceal. Thanks to some weight fluctuation over the years and having four of us kids, she suffers from these unsightly veins that afflict about half of all women.

Because I can't stand to see her suffer any longer, I decided to delve into the options we have for camouflaging or eliminating spider and varicose veins. Turns out there are many, some of which require some downtime and some that are instantaneous.

Camouflage with color: A tan will definitely help conceal surface veins, but a natural tan from the sun is too dangerous to the well-being of your skin. You can try a self-tanner or go for a body makeup like Prtty Peaushun, which comes in three shades and gives skin a little glow, too.

Collapse the vein: Sclerotherapy is the treatment of choice for spider and small varicose veins. During the treatment, the vein will be injected with a medication that causes the vein to collapse. Because these are surface veins that aren't vital to your body's blood flow, your body will simply dissolve the vein without any damage. Some radio-frequency light treatments have also shown promise in reducing spider veins. (Larger varicose veins need to be well-examined and removed surgically.)

Practice prevention: Although these veins are common, you can take steps to minimize their appearance or stop them from getting worse. The National Heart Blood and Lung Institute recommends taking breaks if you have to stand for long periods; not sitting with your legs crossed; lose weight if needed; exercise the legs to keep the blood flowing; limit the amount of time you wear high heels and keep your feet elevated when you're sitting.

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