Problems with our circulatory systems can be a sign of other health issues, such as varicose veins and thrombosis. High or low blood pressure is a leading cause of circulatory problems. Having cold hands and feet, which is often accompanied with a tingling ‘pins and needles’ sensation, are common signs that the circulatory system isn’t working at its best.

Insufficient oxygen to the tissues due to poor circulation can cause the fingers and the toes to become white or even blue in colour.

In cold weather, the condition can be worsened. It is therefore important to take steps to improve blood circulation during the colder months.

Drink less caffeine

Caffeine is proven to constrict the blood vessels, which can lead to a rise in blood pressure. To avoid caffeine negatively impacting your circulatory system, refrain from drinking too much coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks this winter.

Keep moving

When it’s cold and dark outside, it can be tempting to curl up on the sofa and not want to move! Though sitting for long periods of time can take its toll on the circulatory system as it decreases the flow of blood around the body, which can cause cold hands and feet and could potentially lead to more serious ailments.

Make the effort to regularly move around during the winter, even if it’s just going for a short walk or doing some exercises as you’re sat down.

Consume higher amounts of garlic

Garlic has incredible immune-boosting properties and is also extremely good for the heart. Consuming garlic can help improve cholesterol levels in the blood and lessen the chances of platelet clumping in the blood.

Get plenty of exercise

Exercise gets the heart beating and the blood pumping around the body, keeping you warm and helping to stave off high blood pressure and other circulatory issues.

You might not feel like exercising when it’s cold and wet but getting regular exercise is one of the key ways to improve your blood circulation all year round.

Eat plenty of ginger

Ginger is another food type that has great healing properties, including improving the flow of blood around the body and helping keep cold hands and feet at bay. So, ensure there’s plenty of ginger in your herbs and spices cupboard this winter!

If you are concerned with any aspect of your vascular health and would like to discuss your concerns with specialists in vascular systems, get in contact with the Vascular Consultancy, experts in treating varicose veins and other vascular conditions.


The small blood vessels which connect the arteries and the veins are called capillaries. When a capillary becomes broken, they can sometimes be seen on the surface of the skin as a reddish or blue thread. These broken capillaries that are visible on the skin are often referred to as spider veins, as they resemble the pattern of a spider’s web.

The tiny red blemishes can appear anywhere on the face but often occur under the nose or under the eyes.

Whilst facial spider veins are harmless, some people are concerned about their appearance and seek to get them treated.

Some of the key causes of these broken capillaries on the face include:


Unfortunately, it is often our genetical makeup that can make us more susceptible to facial spider veins. If older generations of families have suffered from spider veins, the chances are younger generations will as well.


Ageing is one of the leading causes of facial spider veins. When we get older, our skin loses its elasticity and weakens. The skin loses its recuperative powers and consequently, people can see more spider veins appearing on their face.

Excessive exposure to the sun

Free radicals cause oxidative damage to the skin. As the sun contains free radicals, excessive exposure to UVA rays can cause spider veins to manifest themselves on the surface of the skin.

Smoking and alcohol

Smoking and drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, which can cause the breaking and a swelling of the blood vessels. Smoking also causes the oxidation of the cells, which can be detrimental to the body’s circulatory system. A weaker circulatory system can mean that the capillaries are less resistant to breakages and damage.


Obesity can also be a leading cause of facial spider veins. Being clinically overweight puts pressure on the body and causes the blood not to circulate around the body as well as it should. The skin is also overstretched when someone is obese, making capillaries more prone to breaking.

Hormonal imbalances

Fluctuations of the hormones are also linked to the onset of facial spider veins. The changes of hormones during pregnancy, the menopause or puberty, can lead to the formation of spider veins on the face and elsewhere on the body.

If you are concerned with any aspect of your vascular health and would like to discuss your concerns with specialists in vascular systems, get in contact with the Vascular Consultancy, experts in treating varicose veins and other vascular conditions.


Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.


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