Varicose veins are those pesky, enlarged blood vessels that are often squiggly and discolored in appearance. They can form anywhere but most commonly occur on the legs. This vascular condition occurs in half of the U.S. adult population and is most common in women. With millions of people developing these veins it is important to know what causes them and how they can be prevented.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins and the smaller scale condition known as spider veins occur when there is an increased pressure in the veins that weakens the vessel walls over time. It may even occur when vein walls are deprived of hormones or nutrients. Although it occurs in all adult populations, women, pregnant woman, and the elderly are most susceptible to this condition.
How Can Varicose Veins Be Prevented?
In most cases varicose veins do not pose as a serious risk to your health. However, in worst case scenarios, this condition can lead to serious circulation problems due to blood being unable to travel through the clots in varicose veins. The malfunction of these veins means that less blood is transferred to the heart which in turn can pose as a serious health concern. Most of the time, however, the clotting in varicose veins just leads to symptoms like: swelling, itching, burning, tenderness, aching, and of course unattractive looking veins. While these veins can often be inevitable due to hereditary genes or uncontrollable circumstances, there are various methods of prevention such as:
Avoiding Too Much Time on Your Feet: Excessive standing puts enduring loads of pressure on your feet and legs, which can lead to blood pooling within your veins. To avoid this, be sure to relax your legs from time to time and elevate them above your heart when you can to improve circulation. Also, it is important to always have a good posture anytime you are resting or standing, as this also a great way to improve circulation.
Exercising Regularly: Through exercise, the entire circulatory system can be improved while reducing overall high blood pressure. These two components are excellent to improve when it comes to preventing varicose veins.
Living a Healthy Lifestyle: Aside from exercise, it is also important to maintain a healthy weight, as this decreases the work load put on your veins. Additionally, it is important to stay away from smoking and high-estrogen birth control pills, as these can diminish the health of your veins.
Wearing Proper Clothing: Avoid tight clothing and footwear to improve circulation. It has also been observed that compression hose can help soothe and prevent varicose veins.
When it comes to the bottom line, any improvement in health or circulation can be viewed as a preventative measure for varicose veins. If this information got to you too late, there are various treatments available for the treatment of varicose veins.
Dr. Thomas Wright is a board certified liposuction and cosmetic surgeon in St. Louis, MO. He is also the founder of the Laser Lipo & Vein Center.