Telangiectasia, or more commonly known as spider veins, are small, dilated and damaged blood vessels that appear on the skin’s surface. It is most common on the face or legs and is usually harmless.
Veins are blood vessels that transport blood back to the heart. They contain one-way valves to prevent the backflow of blood. Telangiectasia or spider veins occur when these one-way valves are damaged or weakened, thereby causing the blood to accumulate inside the vein. This will eventually result in bulging and branching veins and, ultimately, spider veins [R].
According to a common myth, women who constantly cross their legs have an increased risk of developing spider veins, varicose veins, and other chronic venous insufficiencies. However, as of this time, there is no scientific evidence or data to back this up. Common parts of the body where spider veins develop are the ankles, inner thighs, and outer parts of the legs, such as the shins and calves. When you cross your legs, these areas almost don’t have pressure applied to them. Although surface veins get a relative amount of pressure, the deeper veins in the leg muscles that are responsible for chronic vein insufficiencies, such as spider veins, remain unaffected [R].
How to get rid of spider veins on legs naturally? You may want to consider these two natural remedies that are supported by scientific studies:
Pycnogenol is extracted from the bark of a European tree called French maritime pine or Pinus pinaster. The standardized ones contain 65% to 75% procyanidins. Procyanidins are oligomeric compounds belonging to a class of flavonoids called proanthocyanidin. They are potent antioxidants and antiinflammatory substances that are usually found in wine, blueberries, grapes, and cocoa [R] [R].
In March 2017, the US National Library of Medicine published a study involving 133 postpartum women with venous insufficiency who were treated with 100 mg Pycnogenol daily. This resulted in a reduction of swelling in the legs, cramps, and spider veins. These women were over 6 months after childbirth and had better symptomatic relief on Pycnogenol than compression stockings. Higher satisfaction and compliance was also noted [R].
Since Pycnogenol can be an immune system stimulant, it is not recommended for people with autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis [R].
Bilberry, or scientifically known as Vaccinium myrtillus, are Eurasian species of small shrubs that bear small and dark blue berries. Otherwise known as whortleberry or European blueberry, this plant is indigenous to the mountains and forests in central and northern Europe; however, they can also be found in North America [R].
Bilberry is considered one of the top sources of a potent antioxidant called anthocyanins. In a clinical trial involving 1,000 people, an extract containing 36% anthocyanins in a dose of 600 mg per day was shown to reduce spider veins [R].
WebMD states that bilberry extracts are safe for oral administration for up to a year for medicinal uses; however, there are certain contraindications. Diabetic patients taking medications for their diabetes are not advised to take bilberry extract since it might excessively lower blood sugar levels. Patients who are scheduled for surgery should also not take bilberry two weeks prior as this could affect blood sugar control during surgery and after [R].
We strongly advise you to have regular check-ups with your doctor and lab tests (blood, kidney, and liver) at least once every four months if you decide to take any herbal medicine or supplement mentioned in the list for long-term.