The sun can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it provides us with vitamin D which is essential to our health. On the other hand, its rays can have damaging effects on our skin and even our veins. Sun protection is critical if you want to avoid getting spider veins due to excessive amounts of sun exposure.
About Spider Veins
Spider veins are small, thread-like blood vessels that appear near the surface of your skin in clusters and vary in color from bright red to light blue or purple. Although they may not look like anything serious, these unsightly looking veins aren’t exactly harmless either. Spider veins are caused by the weakening of blood vessels, which leads to poor circulation and reduced blood flow and oxygen to the area. In time, this can cause a number of health complications.
How Sun Exposure Can Lead to Spider Veins
Sun exposure can lead to spider veins. When you spend time in the sun, the sun rays break down collagen and cause the skin to thin. Your veins become more visible through thinning skin, and spider veins that may have previously been hidden can now become visible. The sun’s rays can also damage visible blood vessels, causing them to take on the characteristic spiky spider vein appearance.
How Sun Exposure Can Worsen Spider Veins
Spider veins can also worsen with sun exposure. The sun’s heat dilates the veins, causing them to swell. This leads to increased blood flow, which the already weakened and malfunctioning spider veins cannot tolerate. As a result, the spider veins enlarge, become more prominent, and are more likely to become symptomatic. This condition is aggravated and worsened by excessive amounts of sun exposure over time.
Sun Exposure and Vein Care
In order to prevent spider veins from appearing or worsening, you should take steps to protect your skin while in the sun. Every day, apply broad-spectrum sunscreen to your sensitive facial skin and any sun-exposed areas, such as your hands, feet, arms, legs, and neck. Reapply as needed to help prevent facial spider veins. Wear a hat to shield your face from the sun’s harmful rays, especially if you have light skin that burns easily. You may also wish to wear clothing that covers your neck, arms, and legs, as these areas are especially vulnerable to sun damage.
Treating Spider Veins
If you already have spider veins from the sun, treatment is recommended to prevent them from worsening. The best way to treat spider veins is with sclerotherapy. During this procedure, your vein specialist will inject a chemical irritant (sclerosant) solution into the veins, causing them to fade away. This will eliminate their unsightly appearance and ease your symptoms.
To learn more about spider veins and sun exposure, schedule your appointment with Dr. Sherman at Vein Specialists of Augusta. Call (706) 854-8340 or contact us online to book your appointment today.