Stop Spider Veins in Their Tracks

Feeling psyched that summer’s over so you can hide your spider-veined legs again? You’re not alone: More than 50 percent of American women suffer from some form of vein problem, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. These unsightly—but harmless—blemishes appear when the veins in our legs weaken, causing blood to disburse and veins to swell. Reasons for this weakening range from prolonged standing and too much sun exposure to heredity and hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy and menopause). The good news? You can slow the progression of spider veins and prevent them from developing in the first place with these three methods:

Horse chestnut extract. This herb not only strengthens veins, it also reduces swelling, says Alan Dattner, MD, a holistic dermatologist in New York City. Take in supplement form (500 mg once a day).

Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose. Lie on the floor with your legs up against a wall, hands beside your torso, and hold for two minutes. Do this four to five times a week. This pose takes pressure off your legs and reverses blood flow, both of which will help prevent and calm swelling in your veins.

Foods rich in vitamin K. This vitamin, found in dark leafy greens, makes veins more flexible, so they’re less likely to burst.