Do Vitamin K Creams Help Treat Spider Veins?

Picture: Woman applying vitamin k cream to her legs

Despite the internet's best efforts to convince people otherwise, the unfortunate fact is that vitamin K creams and lotions do nothing to cure or even reduce the appearance of spider veins.

The myth that these creams provide valuable treatment originates in fact which often makes consumers believe the validity of vendor claims. Vitamin K, when taken orally, effects the way blood clots especially by reversing the chemical change in MGP, a protein associated with the formation of varicose veins. However, even a vitamin enhanced cream cannot effectively penetrate the layers of our skin in sufficient concentrations to make a difference. Believe it or not, no research has ever been done on humans about this vitamin's ability to treat or even prevent the formation of spider veins.

With our miracle vitamin out of the running, what other treatment options are available for these inconvenient blemishes? The two most popular are sclerotherapy and laser therapy.

Other Treatment Options

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is the process of injecting a solution, usually salt based, directly into the vein. The solution causes the lining of veins to swell and stick together. The blood clots and over time the vein turns into scar tissue and will eventually fade away from view. This option is relatively common and has been used as early as the 1930s. It involves minimal pain (a needle prick accompanied by potential cramping) and can be done in a doctor or dermatologist's office in about 15 to 30 minutes. (To read more about Sclerotherapy please click here.)

Endovenous Laser Therapy

Laser treatment can either be simple or endovenous. Simple laser therapy requires multiple sessions every 6 to 12 weeks and is used primarily for smaller veins under the skin's surface. The high energy laser damages the vein, turning it into scar tissue that eventually dies and disappears. Endovenous laser therapy is a newer technology that can be applied to larger varicose veins in the leg, for example. Here, the laser fiber is passed through a catheter inside the vein. A mildly painful stinging sensation follows the use of a dermatologist's laser although the doctor is quick to cool the skin afterwards. (To read more on Endovenous Laser Treatment please click here.)

There are also things that can be done at home to help ease the pain associated with spider veins or to prevent them from becoming worse. Losing weight, exercising, and avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time are all good places to start as they encourage better circulation of blood throughout your body. Compression socks or stockings, which squeeze your leg and help it move blood more efficiently, may provide some reprieve but are also not a cure.

If your spider veins have become too much for you to handle, it's always best to consult a physician or vein specialist before beginning any home remedy and especially before taking any oral supplements or attempting miracle cures. While vitamin K lotions won't treat or reduce spider veins, if you absolutely insist on giving K a try, do so by consuming green leafy vegetables, asparagus, or even broccoli. At least that way even if your veins don't diminish or disappear you'll still be doing something wonderfully healthy for your body.