Vitamin K is a popular home remedy for such problems as spider veins, stretch marks and bruises, but its effectiveness is not proven by medical research. The basis for the belief that vitamin K for spider veins is an appropriate treatment stems from the fact that it helps the blood to clot. The theory is that a clot would stop the flow of blood to an unsightly spider vein and diminish its appearance. This theory is incorrect because spider veins are not caused by excessive bleeding nor by too little vitamin K in the body.
Spider veins, which frequently can be found on the legs or the face, are blood vessels that can be seen through the skin. They are a common problem, affecting as much as 60 percent of the population. More women than men get spider veins, and the condition increases with age. There are numerous causes of spider veins, including injury and heredity. Contributing factors include hormones, obesity and abdominal pressure from constipation or a tight garment, such as a girdle, among other constrictions. People who have to stand for much of their workday also are at increased risk.
Doctors often prescribe special stockings and leg elevation to help ease spider veins and the related varicose veins. Walking is helpful, as is weight loss in the case of overweight patients. There are many vitamin K creams and lotions on the market, but doctors usually do not prescribe vitamin K for spider veins. Too much vitamin K can be harmful for people with kidney and liver problems.
People who use vitamin K for spider veins rub it on the skin as a cream or lotion. Vitamin K also is available in pill form. Taking vitamin K orally could cause serious problems, however, because of its clotting properties. It can interact adversely with certain prescription medications, especially blood thinners, and it also can lead to unwanted and dangerous blood clots.
Vitamin K has been shown to be an effective treatment for some bleeding problems and for a lack of sufficient vitamin K in the body. It is also believed by some people to be effective for osteoporosis, heart disease and high cholesterol. Just as with vitamin K for spider veins, however, more research is necessary to prove these claims.