Prevent Varicose Veins
How to Prevent Varicose Veins (or Stop Them from Getting Worse)
We have all heard of varicose veins – those unsightly enlarged blood vessels that, at least to many of us, seem like an inevitable side effect of getting older. In fact, not many of us ask how we can prevent them from appearing in the first place. At least not until it is too late. The good news is that they typically do not cause problems, and there are ways to prevent varicose veins. If you have already developed some, these precautionary methods can also help this condition from getting worse, or at least slow down the development of more damaged blood vessels.
Before we look at ways to prevent varicose veins, it helps to understand what factors increase the risk for them to appear in the first place. Some of the most prevalent risk factors include:
- Standing for long periods of time
- Age (the risk increases with age)
- Weight (specifically obesity)
- Gender (women are more likely to develop this condition)
- Family history (it can be hereditary)
- A history of blood clots
So, what are these precautionary measures that can help prevent varicose veins?
- Regular exercise – specifically leg exercises, to help with blood circulation
- Weight loss – if you are overweight, losing weight can help lower the risk of damaged blood vessels
- Avoid clothes that are too tight – this can restrict blood flow and lead to damaged blood vessels
- Do not stand or sit for too long at a time – this is specifically applicable to those who work in an office; move around to stimulate blood flow, even if it is only a short walk to the break room
- Lift your feet – whenever you can, put your feet up when you are sitting to help the blood flow from your feet to your body
- Wear compression stockings – they provide pressure on your ankles and lower legs to help blood flow back up to your heart
As mentioned, the above measures will also help slow down the spread of varicose veins. If, however, you already have these damaged blood vessels, there are treatments available to remove these unsightly markings. Dr Stewart Gibson from the Gibson Vein Practice is a trusted varicose veins specialist who is based in Gqeberha and offers a number of treatments, depending on the severity and cause of the condition. For more information on how to prevent varicose veins or how to treat them, contact his office today.