Varicose veins are a common condition, but they are not strictly cosmetic in nature. In fact, varicose veins can cause pain, swelling and even wounds. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent or reduce varicose veins. Treatment is available if they have already developed or preventive measures don’t work.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are veins in the legs which area dilated, twisted and bulging in appearance. But the problem starts underneath the surface of the skin with veins with leaky valves. These leaky valves lead to a buildup of pressure in the underlying veins which can lead to bulging varicosities at the surface. But patients with leaky valves can also have ankle swelling, ankle skin discoloration and ulceration formation with or without visible varicose veins.
Varicose veins are common and can be developed by people of any age, but they’re more common in women than in men, and they’re much more common as you age.
Some possible causes and risk factors for varicose veins include:
- Standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time
- Family history of varicose veins
- Age of 50+ years
How Can You Prevent Varicose Veins?
It may not be possible to completely prevent varicose veins because not all the risk factors are controllable. However, you can take some steps that may reduce your risk for varicose veins or may keep them from getting worse. Check out some of these measures you can take.
1. Don’t Sit or Stand Still for Long Periods of Time
Sitting or standing in the same position for prolonged periods of time can make varicose veins worse because it’s more difficult for blood to travel against gravity. This leads to the pressure in your veins rising and can cause blood to pool in the calves, ankles, and feet.
By moving around periodically, you can decrease the pressure on your veins and improve your circulation. Even if you work at a desk all day, try to take movement breaks by standing and walking around, or stretching your legs and rotating your ankles while you’re seated.
2. Wear Compression Clothing
If you have varicose veins and experience cramping or pain in the legs or feet at night, you might want to try wearing compression socks or stockings during the day. Compression hosiery can keep the valves in the vein in the proper position. People who have different levels of varicose veins may need more mild or firm compression hosiery, and the experts at Beach Wellness MD can advise on what may be right for you.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet
Healthy lifestyle choices, including eating a balanced diet, can help prevent or manage damage to your veins. Obesity places higher pressure inside the veins. It’s a risk factor that can make varicose veins more likely to develop and can aggravate existing ones. Make sure to drink plenty of water to aid circulation, eat foods that are high in fiber and reduce foods that are high in salt. If you’re struggling with weight loss, talk to your doctor about strategies reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
4. Increase Your Physical Activity
Walking is a great activity for your overall health and it’s one of the top ways to prevent varicose veins. Yoga is another exercise that may help, especially when practicing with poses that bring your legs and feet higher than your heart. Stretches that reach your muscles in your calves and hamstrings are also great to incorporate into your daily routine. Swimming and bicycling may also be beneficial in helping prevent or manage varicose veins. These types of physical activity help keep your circulation healthy—as well as providing other health benefits!
Treatment For Varicose Veins
In some cases, lifestyle changes and other measures won’t prevent or eliminate varicose veins completely. It’s important to seek the help of a specialist to examine and diagnose any vein issues you have.
Varicose veins are often benign, but they can be unsightly and sometimes lead to further health complications. They usually get worse over time and can cause pain and swelling in the legs and feet. In severe cases, they can rupture and form ulcers.
Fortunately, there are many treatment options for managing varicose veins. The experts at Beach Wellness MD can diagnose your vein issues and provide guidance on lifestyle changes and home therapies. We also offer minimally-invasive, nonsurgical treatment options, including:
- Varithena®: an FDA-approved injectable foam that collapses damaged veins while rerouting blood flow to healthier veins.
- Sclerotherapy: one of various solutions are injected into your damaged veins to harden and collapse them. Again, blood is rerouted to healthier veins.
These “leg makeover” procedures can be just as effective as vein surgeries. Treatments only take about 15 minutes and cause little to no discomfort, with a quick recovery. Full results are usually visible in as little as a month.
Consult a Trusted Vein Specialist!
Varicose Veins are not uncommon, but they can be unsightly, uncomfortable, and they can worsen over time. At Beach Wellness MD, our primary focus is on restoring your health and improving your quality of life.
Dr. Ali Golshan, MD, is a leading vascular expert who specializes in varicose veins and other vascular conditions. Dr. Golshan emphasizes one-on-one treatment and designs personalized care plans for each patient.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment.