Women tend to get varicose veins more often than men. So if you are a female you are at risk of developing the enlarged veiny eyesores yourself. How to prevent varicose veins from occurring depends on a number of factors. You could be at risk for varicose veins if you are overweight, pregnant, have limited movement, injured, in addition to hereditary varicose veins.
Not sure what varicose veins look like? They are swollen, gnarled veins that appear just under the surface of the skin. They most often appear in the legs and feet. Depending on the extent of the damage, they can cause blood clots, skin ulcers, pain, and various other problems.
Here are a few tips you can use to help prevent those gnarly veins from showing up:
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight or obese can cause varicose veins to develop because there is extra pressure on your veins. By maintaining a healthy weight, it’s not only good for your overall health; it also relieves that pressure and reduces your risk.
Lack of movement
Staying in one position for a long time such as sitting or standing with your legs bent or crossed, raises your risk for varicose veins. It can cause your veins to unnecessarily work harder to pump blood to your heart.
So if you have a job that requires you to sit such as a computer operator, make sure you get up at least once per hour to stretch out your legs and take a walk to the water cooler.
Exercising regularly, especially running or walking, improves circulation and helps to prevent the development or worsening of varicose veins. Muscle tone in the legs is essential in creating good circulation as they are instrumental to the veins in pumping blood back to the heart.
Consider lower hormonal contraceptive pills
The extended use of female associated hormones that aid in birth control; estrogen or progesterone can weaken the valves that exist within the veins to pump the blood from the legs back to the heart. This causes your circulatory system to become weaker and can lead to varicose veins. If you are concerned with the risk of developing varicose veins, lower doses of these hormones is a much better option.
We preach about sunscreen for anti-aging, but did you know that increased exposure to the sun can not only lead to cancers of the skin but also worsening of spider veins? By protecting your skin from the sun by wearing a quality sunblock, you can also reduce your risk of developing varicose veins.
Eat a diet that rich in high fiber foods
Poor diets that cause constipation have been linked to the development of varicose veins. A low salt diet that is rich in high fiber foods such as vegetables and fresh fruits, will not only keep you regular, but can also improve your general health and prevent those unsightly enlarged veins from coming through to the surface.
Wear compression socks
Compression socks or hosiery are designed to help prevent the occurrence of, and guard against further progression of, venous disorders. They provide a gentle continuous pressure up the leg that aids the circulation of blood and prevents swelling of the leg and pooling of blood within them.
What to do next
If you are concerned about development or worsening of varicose veins and would like to know more about your treatment options, call (919) 554-6754 to schedule an appointment with a Wake Health Medical Group medical provider, or schedule a consultation online.