Varicose veins are enlarged veins that you can under the surface of your skin. Varicose veins are most common in the lower legs, but they can happen anywhere. According to Mayo Clinic, you may have them if you notice the following symptoms.
- Veins with a bulging, ropelike appearance.
- Dark blue or purple veins.
- Achy or overly tired legs.
- Lower leg swelling or muscle cramping.
- Pain that gets worse after you sit or stand still for a long time.
- Itching near a vein that seems to be varicose.
If you start to notice that you have varicose veins developing, there are plenty of simple treatments you can try at home to keep them from getting worse. They can be effective, but you may need a vein doctor for some cases of varicose veins.
Keep moving throughout the day.
Varicose veins form when blood pools in your veins, usually in the veins of your legs. This can happen when you sit or stand without moving for hours at a time, like you might at work or on airplanes. Move regularly to improve your circulation and help your legs return blood to your heart. Stand up every hour if you have a seated desk job, or shake your legs out if you normally stand motionless at work.
Lose weight if needed.
Being overweight or obese puts extra weight on your legs and makes it harder to return the blood to your heart. Every pound of extra weight you lose takes some of the burden off of your legs. Lose weight by avoiding high-calorie foods, such as fatty foods and sweets, and emphasizing lower-calorie choices, such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
Try compression stockings.
Compression stockings are tight socks that put pressure on your legs and help them return blood to the heart instead of letting it pool. They are available at some pharmacies and medical supply stores. Vein specialists can suggest how tight your stockings should be and help you figure out which size is best.
When to Get Professional Help for Varicose Veins
If the self-help measures you try do not get rid of your symptoms, it may be time to go to a vein doctor for help. A variety of vein treatments can be performed at a vein clinic.
- Laser surgery, which can get rid of smaller varicose veins without injections.
- Sclerotherapy, or minor injections that closes veins so they eventually fade.
- Vein stripping to get rid of a long vein.
Varicose veins are not necessarily dangerous, but they can make be unsightly and painful. A number of simple home remedies can help reduce their symptoms if you have varicose veins, but they’re not always effective. Vein specialists can provide more aggressive vein treatment for better results.