Spider veins are aptly named since they resemble a spider’s web. In the medical world, they’re referred to as telangiectasias. These cords of dilated veins and capillaries are more common in women than they are in men, and women are often left with them after pregnancy, most frequently on the legs, although they can occur on any part of the body. These dilated capillaries may leak small amounts of blood that are visible underneath the skin.
What Causes Them?
Spider veins are a common problem during pregnancy. Spider veins are veins that are abnormally enlarged or dilated and are easily visible on the surface of the skin. They usually appear when valves inside veins that keep blood from flowing backwards don’t work properly. This causes blood to pool in the veins, which puts pressure on the walls of small veins and capillaries to become larger and more visible. They can also be due to weakening of the walls of veins or small capillaries.
There are several reasons why spider veins are more common during pregnancy. The hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy make veins more pliable. This can cause them to weaken and dilate. In addition, the growing baby increases pressure on veins in the lower extremities, which causes them to widen. This can lead to spider veins in the legs. The volume of blood that pumps through the venous system also increases, which puts further pressure on small veins and capillaries. Pregnant women who stand for long periods of time, who are obese, or wear constrictive clothing while pregnant are at higher risk.
Sometimes small spider veins go away after pregnancy, but they may be a persistent problem. Some doctors recommend sclerotherapy as a treatment option for spider veins after pregnancy. This involves injecting the dilated veins with a solution that causes them to collapse. Sclerotherapy carries with it the risk of scarring, infection, blood clot, allergic reaction to the sclerosing agent, pain and nerve damage. Plus, spider veins can re-form after the procedure. Women who choose to get this procedure need to wait at least three months after delivery. Laser treatments can also be used to treat some spider veins, although this is an expensive procedure that requires several treatments.
A less expensive and risky way to treat spider veins is to use a topical cream to repair the dilated, damaged capillaries and stop the leakage. Auriderm Clearing Gel helps to strengthen capillary walls and reduce the appearance of spider veins without risky surgery or laser treatments. It comes in a non-irritating formula that can be used up to twice a day.
Sun protection is a priority for anyone who has spider veins since sun exposure can worsen these unsightly veins. Wear a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30 that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Avene Very High Protection Cream SPF 50 offers powerful sun protection in a mineral-based formula that’s non-irritating and non-comedogenic.
Compression stockings help to reduce pooling of blood in the veins in the legs, which can lower the risk of spider veins forming during pregnancy. Daily exercise also helps to prevent pooling of blood in the legs that contributes to spider veins.
Check with your doctor before pursuing any treatment options, especially during pregnancy.
The Bottom Line?
Spider veins after pregnancy are a common problem, and they can be frustrating to deal with. A topical gel like Auriderm Clearing Gel is one treatment that you can use at home. Combine the treatment with sun protection and a good pair of compression stockings.