Creams or Herbal Supplements

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Herbal supplementsSummary

  • Not effective for varicose and spider veins
  • Can cause skin irritation and other side effects
  • Costs vary

As varicose and spider veins are often an aesthetic concern rather than a major health issue, people always want to try out anything available over-the-counter and easily applied before making an appointment with a specialist. While this approach is understandable, from my experience it is a waste of our precious time and money. There are a number of different products on the market, various vitamin creams, herbal supplements and natural treatments, each one of them promising amazing results. If you believe that those ugly bulging veins will miraculously vanish after putting lotion on them every night, I’ll have to disappoint you – it’s just wishful thinking.

Are Creams and Herbal Supplements effective to treat varicose and spider veins?

Unfortunately, the short answer would be NO.

Various creams, natural remedies and herbal supplements are said to be somewhat effective as a prevention of varicose and spider veins. Most of them contain vitamins and other substances that support blood circulation, which is always a good thing when your circulatory system is still healthy. The problem is, however, that once a varicose or spider vein is formed, herbal supplements and creams are not an effective treatment!

There are no existing studies, research, or ongoing trials that would confirm positive results of these products on your varicose or spider veins. Naturally, that’s why they can be bought without a prescription. Oftentimes, these products will give you skin irritation and indigestion rather than smooth healthy-looking legs. So be smarter than this, and treat your varicose and spider veins properly from the beginning, instead of wasting money and time on products that would gain you placebo effect at best!

So, what are my other options?

If your varicose or spider veins have already developed, I wouldn’t opt for trying any over-the-counter remedies. Not only will it be a waste of money, but also time. And time is crucial with varicose and spider veins. The sooner you get proper treatment, the less complicated, less costly and more effective the treatment will be. Not to mention the fact that sometimes varicose and spider veins can be an underlying cause of much more serious health issues. So don’t try to play your own doctor, drowning your legs in lotion, putting expensive creams on your face and popping pills. Make an appointment with a specialist because I can almost guarantee there are other, effective options, whose results you will see and feel immediately!

Thanks to modern technology, treating varicose and spider veins has become a walk in the park. New procedures don’t require surgery, and can be covered by insurance. Skilled specialists will treat the veins in their office with either a laser, a salt-solution called a sclerosant, or a combination thereof. You could be walking home that day with relatively little pain or discomfort.

  • Laser Therapy – very effective procedure used on smaller varicose veins, performed in outpatient setting, with fast recovery time and positive mid-term results.
  • Sclerotherapy – this very effective, minimally invasive procedure involves injecting salt water or a chemical solution into the vein, which then hardens and disappears.
  • Endovenous Laser Ablation – very effective, minimally invasive procedure which uses heat to treat the vein through either radiofrequency energy or laser energy. The vein should disappear over time.

What should I do now?

The best thing to start is to have an ultrasound performed to see the underlying veins and how extensive the problem is. This is a painless, non-invasive and absolutely risk free examination. No preparation is necessary, and you will either comfortably lie in a chair or stand in an upright position (this is to assess the blood flow direction). You really needn’t fear this procedure at all, most facials get more painful than this!

You will need to find a vein specialist – phlebologist or vascular surgeon – who performs a physical examination, using various technological devices.  Just call and schedule a free consultation. These offices are friendly and want to help.

Next Steps:

There are a number of different products on the market, claiming to treat varicose and spider veins. However, none of these products have been confirmed by studies or research to have actual results treating varicose and spider veins.

Further Reading

Creams and herbal supplements used for varicose and spider veins include:

  • Horse chestnuts – this is a plant, whose seed, bark, flower and leaves are used to make supplements in the form of pills and creams. According to some sources, horse chestnuts contain active chemicals that support blood circulation. Which might be true, but as I said before, once the venous system is damaged, improvement in blood circulation itself is not going to be effective in treating varicose and spider veins.
  • Butcher’s broom – this is a plant, whose root is used to make supplements that supposedly support blood circulation. Once again, its actual effect on smoothing your veiny legs has not been confirmed.
  • Grape – grapes contain flavonoids, which supposedly work as antioxidants, help blood circulation, and relax blood vessels. However, no actual studies on the effects of grapes on varicose or spider veins have been carried out.
  • Sweet clover – this is an herb, whose leaves and flowering branches are used to make supplements to relieve poor blood circulation and cramps. Any actual evidence of this is non-existent, though.
  • Pycnogenol – this is a product, whose trademark is registered in the US and is made from the pine bark of the Pinus pinaster tree. Sold in the form of pills or creams, it is supposed to act as an antioxidant and improve blood flow.
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) – this is a chemical found in humans, animals and plants. It is described as a supplement for a number of health conditions, one of them being poor blood circulation. However, no studies have been carried out and results drawn that this substance has any effect on varicose or spider veins.

All these herbal or chemical supplements are available over-the-counter and are sold to prevent and treat various issues associated with varicose and spider veins. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these products is only known from subjective customer reviews as likely effective or possibly effective and there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that these products have positive results on treating varicose and spider veins.