Question: I have visible veins on my legs, which I find embarrassing and unsightly, and also a few broken ‘thread veins’ on my face. Do you have any advice on reducing their appearance without surgery?
BY Rebecca Laske 16 September, 2008 – 09:08
Answer: Indeed, there are two types of visible veins. Firstly, there are those dark, bulging veins, which can make even the greatest pair of pins look unattractive. They can also cause discomfort, aching, heaviness, fatigue, burning, throbbing and cramps. Varicose veins occur when weakness of the vein wall allows valves in the superficial veins to stretch so that they don’t close properly. Blood then flows back, with raised pressure, into the leg along these veins, causing the tributaries to enlarge.
Then there are thread veins, which are little networks of red or purple patterns close to the surface of the skin. These are caused by dilated blood vessels and can pop up anywhere on body, unfortunately including the face. The thread veins seen on the face are fed by the arterial system, rather than the veinous system and usually appear around the lower nose and upper lip and sometime on the cheeks. Vein problems increasingly affect women, and can be due to female hormones, pregnancy and menopause, as well as taking oestrogen and birth control pills.
Thankfully, in the majority of people visible veins aren’t harmful. However many people do feel self conscious about them. Luckily there are a number of natural substances that may help support your veins. Horse chestnut, butcher’s broom, anthocyanidins, found in plants such as bilberry and vitamin K, have all been found to have an effect on blood vessels and capillaries.