Can Compression Socks Get Rid of Spider Veins?

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Spider veins appear on the legs when the veins stop working properly and the blood pools there. Most cases of spider veins are harmless, but patients should start getting spider vein removal treatments if their legs start feeling mild symptoms like itching, aching, or heaviness. While there are medical treatments available, many people start home treatments like compression stockings first.

So can compression socks get rid of spider veins? Compression stockings are commonly used for reducing the appearance of spider veins and varicose veins on the legs, ankle, and feet. They come in different types, which is why it’s better to consult a vein specialist first before wearing a pair.

Do Compression Stockings Work for Spider Veins?

Spider veins are visible, red veins around the thighs that measure up to 1 mm. They may develop in different parts of the body, but they’re usually found on the legs or near the ankles. Spider veins are different from larger veins like reticular veins and varicose veins.

The appearance of spider veins is a problem for millions of American adults. Although the broken blood vessels themselves are harmless, they’re also a sign of a more serious venous disease that requires the proper treatment. But instead of trying out different spider vein removal 

procedures, many vein specialists recommend wearing compression stockings at home first.

What Are Compression Stockings?

Compression stockings and socks were specially designed for treating venous conditions through compression therapy. They apply a certain amount of pressure to the legs and ankles to improve blood circulation from the legs to the heart. These socks also help reduce painful symptoms and swelling in the legs.

Aside from erasing the visible superficial vein on the skin, compression stockings are also used for the following medical conditions:

  • Edema – This condition occurs when the lower limbs swell.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis – This happens when the blood flow in the legs decreases because of the lack of movement for several hours (long flights, after surgery, and others). It causes the blood to pool in the legs and form blood clots.
  • Lymphedema – This refers to the accumulation of lymph fluid in the lower limbs.
  • Phlebitis – This condition is the inflammation of veins caused by blood clot or damaged vein walls.

How Should I Wear Them?

Compression stockings should only be used after the patient consults a vein specialist or vein surgeon about their condition. These special socks come in different lengths (thigh-high stockings and knee-high socks) and compression levels which need to fit the patient’s legs snugly without being too tight. A doctor or nurse helps the patient assess the right kind of compression socks they need.

When wearing the stockings, make sure that they lie flat against the skin to avoid bunching. The compression socks also should be the right length for the patient. Never roll or fold the tops because it exerts extra pressure on the legs and makes the stockings feel too tight. This restricts the blood circulation in the leg veins and acts like a tourniquet that might cause medical problems.

Compression stockings are worn during the day and taken off at night, but the periods of time required vary depending on the instructions by the doctor. Patients may also only need to wear compression stockings on one leg instead of both.

These stockings should also be hand-washed regularly to maintain good hygiene. Replace them immediately if they become loose because they won’t provide the right amount of compression needed to improve vein health.

How Do Compression Stockings Eliminate Spider Veins?

A few centuries back, Roman soldiers would use layers of cloth wrapped around their legs to improve blood circulation. This allows them to endure long marches better. Compression stockings were created to do the same thing, but their design allows better and consistent pressure in the legs. They also exert more pressure on the ankles and feet to promote better blood circulation.

Here are other ways that compression stockings help eliminate spider veins:

  • Helps the blood flow back up to the heart
  • Reduces the diameter of unsightly veins by increasing the velocity and volume of healthy blood flow
  • Prevents blood from flowing back down to the foot or into the superficial veins

3 Different Types of Compression Stockings

Compression stockings come in different types and sizes that provide varying amounts of pressure on the legs. Here are the three primary types of compression stockings used for treating spider veins and other venous conditions:

Graduated Compression Stockings

This type of compression stockings has the strongest compression at the ankles which gradually decrease towards the top. They’re specially designed to provide better mobility and meet specific strength and length specifications.

Graduated compression stockings usually require a professional fitting which is why it’s best to consult a vein specialist first. There are compression stockings that only cover the area up to below the knee to treat leg swelling. Some stockings reach up to the thighs and waist to reduce blood pooling and prevent orthostatic hypotension.

Anti-Embolism Stockings

This type of compression stockings also offers gradient compression like the first type of compression stockings, but the compression levels of these medical compression stockings are different. Anti-embolism stockings reduce the chances of developing deep vein thrombosis by providing focused compression, which is why patients who use them have limited mobility.

Non Medical Support Hosiery

This type of compression stockings doesn’t usually require a doctor’s prescription. It’s available online and in most pharmacies and drug stores. Nonmedical support hosiery has flight socks and an elastic support hose that offers mild compression and relief for tired, aching legs. It also delivers uniform compression and mild venous pressure on the legs compared to other prescription compression stockings.

The Risks of Using Compression Socks

Compression socks are generally safer compared to invasive treatments and other spider vein removal options. However, it’s still important to be wary of the different risks that accompany this type of treatment. Patients might experience redness or skin irritation in the legs, which are indications that:

  • The stockings don’t fit properly
  • The patient isn’t using them properly
  • There’s an infection in the area
  • The patient is allergic to the material used in the stocking

According to a 2014 case report,  compression stockings may cause skin breakage and other problems if they’re incorrectly used. They might also result in peripheral nerve damage, which is why it’s important to follow the doctor’s instructions when using compression stockings.

Treat Spider Veins on the Legs at Vein Center Doctor Now

Vein Center Doctor is home to some of the best vein specialists in NY and NJ. Our highly trained staff is ready to help patients treat their visible veins using the appropriate compression stockings or other spider vein removal procedures. All treatments are performed inside state-of-the-art facilities to ensure that each patient gets the best vein treatment experience in our clinic.

Call us now or visit our website to book an appointment and start your journey to restoring healthy, vein-free legs.