When you develop varicose veins, it’s typically because your vein walls and valves have sustained damage. Often, that damage occurs because of a combination of two factors: compromised blood flow and increased pressure. When the valves in your veins don’t work well, blood has a hard time flowing back to your heart. When it can’t flow back to your heart, the blood builds up in your legs. And when the blood builds up in your legs, it puts a lot of pressure on the walls of your veins. That’s when they start to stretch and bulge, and become visible through your skin.
What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
Symptoms of varicose veins include:
· bulging, blue or purple veins
· leg pain or heaviness
· itchy skin
· changes in skin color
· leg cramps, especially in the evenings
Can I Prevent Varicose Veins from Developing?
Certain factors, like your age, pregnancy and family history all increase your risk of developing varicose veins. But there are measures you can take to lower your risk of developing new varicose veins. Some of these moves can also improve the appearance of existing vein damage.
Getting regular exercise helps improve blood flow in your legs—walking several times a week, for at least 30 minutes each time, will strengthen your calf muscles and improve your blood flow. Both will help prevent blood from pooling in your legs and putting pressure on your vein walls.
Prop up Your Tootsies
Whenever you get the chance to take a break, sit down and get your feet up (ideally above the level of your heart.) This will get that blood flowing back where it belongs.
Move More Every Day
Standing or sitting for long periods of time can take a toll on your veins. If you can get up and move around, or sit down and take a load off, at least once an hour, this will minimize the toll taken on your veins.
Drop Some Pounds
The closer you are to your ideal weight, the less pressure you put on your veins, and the better your entire circulatory system will function.
Take on Outside Pressure
When your body is having problems pushing blood out of your legs, wearing therapeutic compression socks or stockings can help minimize potential vein damage.
While all of these factors can help decrease your chances of developing varicose veins, if you have an increased risk of vein disease, you should stick to regular visits with your vein specialist. That way, if problems do develop, we can catch and treat them as soon as possible.