Helping Seniors Live Healthier Lives

Things That Make Varicose Veins Worse

Varicose veins, also known as spider veins, are unsightly, and if you have some, you don't want them to worsen. While most varicose vein problems are cosmetic, some get worse and cause serious health problems. Therefore, if you are prone to vein problems, take measures to keep this from happening. You also don't want them to come back after treatment. Here are some ways to lower your risk of worsening or returning varicose veins.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are highly noticeable blue, red, or purple veins that usually form on the legs. Some people also get varicose veins on their face. They're caused by weakened or damaged blood flow control valves in the veins. This causes the blood to pool inside the vein rather than return immediately to the heart.

How Are Varicose Veins Harmful?

For most people, varicose veins are just ugly and cause no further problems. However, some people experience reoccurring pain and fatigue as well as muscle cramps with varicose veins. More serious problems include an increased chance of blood clots and bleeding that could even be life threatening.

What Makes Varicose Veins Worse?

Varicose veins can worsen over time unless you take measures to reduce your risks. While many varicose vein issues are caused by factors beyond your control, such as hormones and genetics, others can be controlled. Here are some examples of controllable issues that could contribute to worsening varicose veins.

Weight Gain

Being overweight or obese puts added pressure on your leg veins. Losing weight can help prevent new varicose veins from forming as well as other added health benefits.

Lack of Exercise

Moderate exercise not only helps with weight problems, but it can also improve circulation in your legs. Be sure to emphasize leg exercises.

Standing or Sitting Too Much

If you work at a job that requires you to stand or sit, then you may have less control over this issue. However, you can try stretches, take breaks, or wear compression stockings to improve circulation while you work.

Too Much Sunlight

Sunlight doesn't cause varicose veins, but they can make them worse by causing them to dilate. This is especially true for facial varicose veins, but leg veins are also affected.

The good news is you can have your varicose veins treated at a vein treatment center. Treatment could reduce or even eliminate varicose veins. For most people, treatment is permanent. However, if you don't reduce your risk factors, you may form new varicose veins later on. Therefore, make sure you follow up with the vein treatment center's aftercare and advice.