Spider veins often accompany cellulite on the thighs, and there's a reason for that.
Cellulite and vein disease have a lot in common. The two conditions share some of the same causes, which we'll discuss below. And, both can produce distressing cosmetic issues that can negatively impact self-image, especially for women.
Like varicose and spider veins, cellulite affects women more than men. According to one report, 90 percent of women and 10 percent of men display dimpled skin characteristics of cellulite. Fortunately, treatment options are available for those interested in reducing the appearance of cellulite, varicose, and spider veins.
What Causes Cellulite?
A common misconception about cellulite is that it only affects overweight individuals. Although excess weight can worsen cellulite, it’s not the only cause.
Cellulite develops when fat cells increase and push up against the connective tissue or collagen of the skin. As a result, the skin — usually along the hips, thighs, buttocks, and abdomen — takes on a dimpled appearance similar to cottage cheese or an orange peel. Because women store more fat in the thighs and buttocks, they typically see a higher incidence of cellulite than men.
Genetics, hormones, lack of exercise, and poor muscle tone can all contribute to cellulite, as well as varicose and spider veins. Both varicose and spider veins develop due to sluggish circulation in the vein and lymphatic system. This poor circulation allows fluids to build up and collect in the weakened or damaged veins.
Varicose and spider veins occur when blood becomes trapped in the vein due to weak valves that are unable to properly pump blood back to the heart. As blood continues to pool, the vein walls protrude outward from under the surface of the skin. Similarly, abnormal lymphatic drainage from the breakdown of the skin’s connective tissue leads to the appearance of cellulite.
Preventing and Treating Cellulite — and Varicose Veins
Boosting circulation and increasing muscle tone are the best ways to help prevent and reduce the appearance of cellulite, varicose veins, and spider veins. Start with an exercise program to increase muscle strength. Stronger, firmer muscles make cellulite less noticeable. As you work out, you’ll shed fat cells and promote better lymphatic drainage.
Exercise also helps prevent varicose and spider veins. Aerobic exercise, particularly brisk walking and biking, engage the calf muscles as they help push blood through the veins. Although exercise alone won’t eliminate varicose veins, regularly working out can reduce the symptoms of varicose veins such as swelling, pain, and cramps. It can also prevent new varicose veins from forming.
But wait, there’s more! Diet plays a vital role in maintaining vein health in addition to preventing cellulite. Skip saturated fat-laden processed and fast foods that only fill your body with cellulite-promoting toxins. Instead, consume lean proteins and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables to strengthen your blood vessels. Don’t fill up on sugary soft drinks, alcohol, and coffee; instead, sip water throughout the day and with your meals.
Professional treatments are available for cellulite as well as for varicose and spider veins. For cellulite, the FDA approved the use of TriActive™ laser therapy for cellulite. By combining a massaging action with low-level laser diodes smoothed over the skin, the treatment increases collagen production, which temporarily reduces the appearance of cellulite.
Varicose and spider veins can also be treated with laser, among other surgical procedures like sclerotherapy. A safe solution called a sclerosing agent is injected into the vein during sclerotherapy to seal it, so blood diverts to healthy veins. During a laser ablation procedure, the vein doctor will use laser heat on the tip of a catheter to move through the diseased vein, forcing it to collapse. Eventually, the damaged veins fade.
Beware of topical creams that allegedly cure cellulite or spider veins. In most cases, such treatments are scams. If you’re looking to treat your spider veins or cellulite, your best bet is to go with only FDA-approved treatments like the ones mentioned above. Or better yet, consult with a vein specialist on proven treatments to eliminate varicose and spider veins.
Let Us Take Care of Your Veins
Center for Vein Restoration physicians specialize in vein disorders. We offer the latest in treatment techniques to eliminate varicose and spider veins. All of our doctors are certified vein specialists and have decades of experience in treating vascular disease. Contact us today for a consultation.