The risk of spider veins (small twisted red, purple or blue blood vessels visible on the face or legs) increases with age. So too does the risk of varicose veins (larger, twisted blood vessels, dark blue and protruding from the skin, generally on legs or ankles).
Ageing causes the valves in the veins (which regulate the blood flow) to malfunction, and blood is no longer pumped back up to the heart, but pools in the vein.
So what can we do?
Veins in this state do not get better. However, there are ways of easing the symptoms:
- Don’t stand for long periods
- Exercise regularly (it will improve muscle tone and blood flow) and maintain a healthy weight
- When at rest, prop your legs up on a pillow so they are higher than the heart.
- Compression stockings will help the blood flow
Injections, laser treatment or surgery may be required if the vein is too large and not responding to other treatment. Always seek medical advice if you are considering these options.