Pregnancy comes with plenty of changes to your body. Your belly grows, your feet swell, and even your fingernails and hair will seem different. While these are all well-known effects of pregnancy, other changes aren’t as familiar to many moms.
For example, spider veins are a reasonably common side-effect of pregnancy that can alarm pregnant moms. What do spider veins look like? They appear as a web of fine red lines under your skin. The marks are unsightly — but are spider veins dangerous? Not really.
Spider veins can appear in many places. In pregnant people, they show up in two prominent locations: the face and thelegs. On your face, they’ll typically appear on your cheeks and nose, where they’re impossible to hide. On your legs, they’ll typically appear behind your knees, around your ankles, and along your calves. However, they can appear anywhere that blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin.
Why Do Spider Veins Appear During Pregnancy?
To understand why spider veins appear during pregnancy, it helps to know what they are. Spider veins are tiny blood vessels that can’t move blood the way they’re supposed to because they’re damaged.
Veins are responsible for bringing blood back to your heart. They have special valves that keep blood from flowing backward. When these valves are working, small veins can’t be seen through your skin.
However, when a valve breaks for some reason, blood can start to collect in that vein. If enough valves fail, that collected blood will cause a vein to expand until it’s visible through your skin. Because these swollen veins are small, they don’t cause any health problems. However, they do lead to unsightly marks.
There are several reasons why spider veins can form. These blood vessels are very delicate, so any unexpected level of pressure can cause problems. For example, high blood pressure can destroy valves.
During pregnancy, your body creates a lot more blood to support the baby. That extra blood stresses your circulatory system and can cause things to break. As a result, spider veins can form across your body, wherever small veins are close to the skin.
Are Pregnancy-Induced Spider Veins Normal?
Every person reacts to pregnancy a little differently. Genetics and hormones play a large role in how the body changes over nine months. Some mothers are prone to high blood pressure, some aren’t. That means that while some women will experience spider veins during pregnancy, others won’t.
If you do develop spider veins, you’re not alone. It’s a common side effect of having a baby. However, you don’t need to live with spider veins just because it’s normal.
How Long Do Spider Veins Last?
Recovering from pregnancy can take a long time — and this period includes recovering from spider veins. After your baby is born, your body will start returning to a non-pregnant state. Your blood pressure and blood volume will return to normal. That relieves the stress on your circulatory system and stops the formation of new spider veins.
Once your body isn’t being stressed anymore, it may be able to heal. Some moms find that minor spider veins disappear in the first three or four months after their delivery. Unfortunately, you can also end up with spider veins that just won’t go away. If the veins were damaged badly enough, then they may not be able to return to their normal and invisible size.
If your spider veins are still around when your baby is six months old, then they may be permanent. If they bother you, then it’s time to consider getting them removed.
What Can You Do to Fix Spider Veins?
If you’re currently pregnant and you’ve noticed spider veins forming, you may be able to keep them from getting worse. Techniques for preventing spider veins during pregnancy include:
- Avoiding crossing your legs to keep blood flowing
- Eating a diet full of fiber and vitamin C to keep your veins healthy
- Elevating your legs whenever possible
- Wearing compression clothing to keep veins from being stressed
- Working out to improve circulation and prevent weight gain that can stress blood vessels
All of these solutions help keep your spider veins as small as possible, so they’re more likely to go away.
If you’ve already developed a lot of spider veins, treatment is more complicated. There aren’t any home remedies that can remove veins if your body isn’t healing them on its own. You’ll need to work with a medical professional to get them removed.
There are three main methods for removing spider veins:
- Sclerotherapy. This treatment involves a vein specialist injecting a solution into spider veins. This solution causes the vein to immediately collapse so your body can heal it.
- Laser therapy. This technique uses a medical laser to heat problem veins and cause them to break down. Your body takes over and reabsorbs the vein, so it’s not visible.
- VeinWave. This revolutionary method uses microwaves to heat unsightly spider veins. It’s typically quicker and less likely to sting than laser therapy.
Is It Safe to Remove Spider Veins While Pregnant?
While it’s frustrating to watch your body change in ways you don’t like, you shouldn’t get spider veins removed while you’re still pregnant. Until your baby is born, you can still develop new veins. Getting veins fixed only to have them come back will be even more annoying.
If the veins come back, they may be harder to fix the second time. It’s best and safest to wait to treat spider veins until you’re not pregnant anymore.
Ready to Take Back Your Body Post-Pregnancy?
Once you’re a proud parent, you can start recovering from the stresses of pregnancy. One way to reclaim your body is to get rid of any spider veins that don’t want to disappear.
If you’re ready to get spider veins removed, you can count on Medicus Vein Care. No matter where your veins appeared or what treatment you want, the experts at Medicus Vein Care can help you. Book your free consultation today to start taking back your body.