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January 22, 2010 at 8:53 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Varicose Vein-Spider Vein Comparison

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

What are Varicose Veins, and what are Spider Veins? Varicose Veins are abnormally enlarged, and shaded in either deep purple or blue. They bulge, and can be felt beneath the skin. Most often, you'll find Varicose Veins on the calves. In women who are pregnant, they commonly appear around the anus or vagina. Spider Veins, on the other hand, are much smaller and less apparent. They don't bulge like Varicose Veins. They're colored red or blue, and patterned like spider webs. Usually, Spider Veins are show up on the face or the legs. What causes Varicose and Spider Veins? Both Varicose and Spider Veins are caused by a failure in the vein valves. Your veins are meant to carry blood to your heart to receive oxygen. The veins in your legs have one way flaps called "valves", meant to prevent the blood from backing up. However, when a valve fails, the blood begins to slow and the veins are enlarged. Who is most at risk of developing Varicose or Spider Veins? Varicose and Spider Veins are strongly linked to estrogen levels - so they occur more often in women. However, about 40-45% of American men also suffer from this condition. Other factors which increase the risk of damaged veins include obesity, old age, and sun exposure. Also, Varicose and Spider veins are much more common during periods of hormonal change - such as puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. How can I prevent Varicose and Spider Veins? It is possible for both Varicose and Spider Veins to return. But there are a few steps you can take to prevent this. These include:

  • Wear sunscreen to keep your skin from suffering sun damage.
  • Regular exercise can help to improve vein strength, and to heighten circulation.
  • Keep yourself at a healthy weight - when you're too heavy, extra stress is put on your legs, causing your veins to weaken.
  • Both standing and sitting for long periods of time can damage your veins. If you are required to stand excessively, try shifting your weight from leg to leg every few moments. Also, if you have to sit for long periods of time - try getting up and walking every half hour.
  • Your diet can also immensely affect your veins. It's a good idea to consume very little salt, and high fiber. Also, several dietary supplements are available to boost your vein strength.

Sources:

http://www.veindirectory.org/faq/varicoseveins-faq.asp

http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/guide/cosmetic-procedures-spider-veins

Photo Credit: yelahneb

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