Will Fake Tan Cover Varicose Veins?

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If you’re reading this post right now, the chances are that you or a loved one are suffering from varicose veins. While varicose veins, aka spider veins, usually aren’t harmful or deadly. But they are unsightly!

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to reduce or hide the appearance of varicose veins. One of the most common methods we’ve seen questions about is using spray tan. So will fake tan cover varicose veins? 

As it turns out, it can! However, it’s not exactly the best method out there. 

In today’s post, we’ll discuss how fake tanning can hide varicose veins’ appearance and the underlying cause of varicose veins. We’ll also discuss some of the other alternative methods used to get rid of varicose veins! Isn’t it time that you felt confident in your own skin? 


Will Fake Tan Cover Varicose Veins? 

Fake Tanner

You know the feeling… 

It’s a hot summer day, and you go to put on your favorite pair of shorts. Then, you look in the mirror and realize your dark blue veins popping out of the surface of your skin.

If you’re like many people, you just sigh, put the pants back in the dresser, and try on another outfit. 

What if it didn’t have to be this way, though?

What if you could get rid of them, or at least reduce their size and appearance so they were less noticeable? 

This is the line of thought that has led some people to question, Will a fake tan cover varicose veins?”

To answer this question properly, it helps to first understand how a spray tan works. 

It all has to do with a compound called DHA (Dihydroxyacetone). It’s the main active ingredient in all self-tanning lotions and spray tan products and is what makes your skin turn that lovely shade of tan brown. 

Once it comes into contact with your skin, it reacts with the layer of dead skin cells on your skin’s surface and causes them to “oxidize.” Just as an apple oxidizes and turns brown when exposed to oxygen, the dead skin cells oxidize when exposed to DHA and turn brown. 

The resulting effect is that the skin not only looks tan, but some of the blemishes and veins underneath the skin become hidden. For this reason, many people use fake tan in an attempt to cover their varicose veins. 

For the most part, it works alright. However, this method does have a few caveats. 

Why Spray Tan Isn’t A Good Solution For Varicose Veins

The biggest problem is that fake tanning is not permanent. Since the DHA only interacts with your dead skin cells, your “tan” will constantly be falling off.

This means that you’ll need to constantly reapply the fake tanning lotion or spray to your skin every week or so.

The more that you shower, bathe, shave, or swim, the quicker your fake tan will wear off, exposing the veins beneath.

Ultimately, this can lock you into a long cycle of constant unhappiness and re-application just to maintain your coverage. 

We don’t mean to discourage you completely, though! If you’re in a bind and you need a quick cover-up for your varicose veins, then a fake tan can be a great temporary solution.

However, just don’t expect it to be a long-lasting solution. 

What Are Some Other Ways To Cover Varicose Veins? 

So, all of that being said, what are some other ways that you can cover or reduce the appearance of your varicose veins? Although some individuals resort to surgical procedures, this should be regarded as a last-ditch option because it can be expensive, painful, and come with a long recovery time. 

However, there are a couple of other non-surgical, non-invasive methods that you can employ! Let’s take a look. 

Light Therapy

One of the most popular (and easy) methods is to use IPL light treatment. IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, and it’s commonly used as a form of laser hair removal. Essentially, a small handheld device flashes super-bright pulses of light across the surface of your skin. 

The process is supposed to mimic the effects of traditional laser therapy to reduce your vein’s size and appearance. However, the advantage is that you can purchase and use these devices at home, without doctor supervision. 

LED Light Therapy has a wide variety of uses, including pore reduction, hair removal, and of course, reducing varicose veins! An at-home IPL device is definitely worth investing in. 


This method is typically administered by a doctor but is relatively quick, easy, and painless. The doctor injects your veins with saline (salt) solutions.

This solution pumps through your veins and effectively shrinks your swollen blood vessels. 

Final Thoughts

If varicose veins are causing you to be self-conscious about your appearance, then using a fake tan treatment like spray tans or self-tanning lotion can be a quick fix to reduce the visibility of your veins.

However, it is not a permanent solution. 

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution for your varicose veins, then you’re better off using an at-home IPL device or going to a doctor for sclerotherapy treatment. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).