Spider veins and varicose veins - what's the difference?
A lot of sources seem to be touting apple cider vinegar as a cure for spider veins and varicose veins alike, with the two terms often used interchangeably. So, first of all, let’s look at these two conditions in a little more depth.
Spider veins often appear alongside varicose veins, so it’s understandable that there may be some confusion between the two. However, despite their name, spider veins don’t affect your veins, but your capillaries. Capillaries are tiny (only as wide as one red blood cell!), permeable vessels which carry oxygen and nutrients to, and remove waste from, tissues.
When capillaries become broken, they are known as spider veins. These are red, purple or blue lines visible on the skin which are very fine and not as prominent as varicose veins. Spider veins don’t tend to cause pain – although they can become itchy or irritated.
On the other hand, of course, varicose veins do affect your veins! Unlike capillaries, your veins should not be permeable and the pores in the walls of your veins should be tight. If these pores become dilated, then the veins can begin to sag. This is where varicose veins tend to become a problem as the blood begins to pool, especially in veins of the lower legs.
Can apple cider vinegar heal spider veins?
So, back to apple cider vinegar. Can this pungent liquid be used as a cure for spider veins? The answer is, quite simply, no! Once a capillary has been broken, it can’t be fixed. So, no amount of topical ointment or questionable treatments will be able to rectify the problem.
However, certain herbs can be used to strengthen the entire circulatory system. Horse chestnut is known for its traditional use to provide relief to conditions such as tired, heavy and painful legs caused by varicose veins. By taking extracts of horse chestnut such as Venaforce, you can strengthen the circulatory system and, in turn, reduce the appearance of spider veins.
Can apple cider vinegar heal varicose veins?
Now, let’s turn back to our original question: can apple cider vinegar heal varicose veins? Well, the only way to significantly improve the function of your veins is from the inside. But it’s possible that apple cider vinegar has astringent properties which could help to tone varicose veins when applied topically.
However, it’s not something that I would recommend, especially if the skin around your damaged veins is broken or particularly weak - it will most likely nip quite a bit! Plus, the consistency of apple cider vinegar means it would probably either evaporate once applied or drip down your legs, giving you a delightful vinegar scent.
Instead, I would recommend using Venagel as a topical treatment for varicose veins. It contains horse chestnut, an astringent which has been used traditionally for many years as a treatment to ease uncomfortable varicose veins.
How else can I ease varicose veins?
Making changes to your diet and lifestyle can also help to ease symptoms associated with varicose veins. Eating plenty of foods rich in heart-friendly nutrients will help to improve your circulation and ease the pressure on your varicose veins. Why not read my blog, ‘4 top vitamins to banish varicose veins’ to find out more?
You can also try gentle exercise! Check out my blog, ‘Is exercise good for varicose veins?’ for some top tips on which exercises can be helpful when trying to cope with this uncomfortable condition.