Common Spider Vein Myths – Part II

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Spider veinEarlier this year, we looked at five common myths about varicose veins and debunked a few more in an effort to dispel some of the falsehoods floating out there on the Internet.

We found far-flung suggestions that exercise only makes varicose veins worse (walking can actually help improve blood flow) and countered claims that only women get varicose veins or that unsightly veins are strictly a cosmetic issue (both are false).

We even debunked an old folk treatment for varicose veins involving sliced tomatoes — and saved you a few bucks at the supermarket.

But the deeper we dug online, the more misinformation we continued to find. So here are a few more debunked myths about spider veins – those dilated, discolored veins that appear close to the surface of the skin:

Myth #1: Only overweight people get spider veins.

It’s true that weight may be a risk factor in developing spider veins, but being overweight does not create a 100-percent certainty that you’ll develop them. They’re more often the result of genetics, hormone changes, aging, and other factors.

Myth #2: You can only get spider veins on your legs.

While they’re more common on the legs and ankles, spider veins can also develop on your face. They can appear as tiny branches of red, blue, or purple blood vessels. Individuals with fair skin who don’t take steps to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful ultra-violet rays can develop spider veins on their cheeks.

Myth #3: Topical creams that contain high doses of Vitamin K can help reduce the appearance of spider veins.

It’s true that without Vitamin K, our blood would have trouble coagulating and uncontrolled bleeding could occur. Vitamin K is also an important nutrient for heart health. But while Vitamin K has been used over the years to treat bruising and to reduce rosacea, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that it improves vein health when applied topically.

Myth #4: Drinking ginger tea with honey or diluted cayenne pepper in hot water are two natural, effective treatments for getting rid of spider veins.

Some home remedy or homeopathic websites suggest that ginger can help improve circulation and dissolve proteins that build up in damaged veins. Others suggest cayenne pepper is rich in bioflavonoids, which can increase blood circulation and ease the pain associated with swollen veins. However, neither cure-all carries much weight, and there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that either alternative approach works.

Myth #5: “I don’t need to see a doctor for spider veins because they’re not like varicose veins. They’re just a sign of old age.”

When the skin above spider veins grows tender and warm to the touch, or when veins become painful or bleed, it’s time to see a vein specialist. Spider veins can be associated with other more-serious conditions, such as skin ulcers or phlebitis, the inflammation of a vein caused by a blood clot.

Get the truth about varicose veins, spider veins, and treatment options from the trusted professionals at West Florida Vein Center, a division of Surgical Associates of West Florida. To request a consultation or for more information, visit our website or call 727-712-3233.

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