UNM Department of Surgery

Department of Surgery
Vascular Surgery Division

UNM School of Medicine
MSC 10 5610
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131
Phone: (505) 272-5850

Vascular Surgery

Spider Vein Prevention

How To Reduce The Risk Of Developing Spider Veins

If you are afraid of developing spider veins or you already have varicose veins (enlarged red or blue blood vessels living close to the skin’s surface), there are things you can do to help prevent the occurrence of them. Some tips for preventing spider veins include:

  • Wear sunscreen. This not only protects your skin from harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer, but it also helps prevent spider veins (especially on the face).
  • Stop crossing your legs. This may be a habit for you, but it should stop. Sitting with your legs crossed for too long can limit blood flow in your legs and cause vessel damage and can weaken the vein valves and walls.
  • Move around. Staying stagnant and immobile, such as sitting or standing for a long time, can restrict blood flow to the lower extremities and back to the heart. Try not to sit for longer than 30 minutes without getting up for a walk. Movement and exercise promotes blood flow and decreases your risk for spider veins.
  • Put your legs up. When you are resting, it is a good idea to elevate your feet above the level of your heart. This helps relieve pressure off your legs and feet, decreasing the risk of your veins becoming weak.
  • Put your best foot forward. Save your high-heels for special occasions and stick to low-heeled or flat shoes to promote good blood flow.

Other actions like wearing compression stockings or socks can help blood flow and keep your veins from enlarging. You can also wear looser clothes (especially around the waist, groin or legs). If you already have some spider veins or you are not finding the prevention tips for spider veins helpful to your individual situation, UNM Vein & Cosmetic Center in Albuquerque, NM can help.