If you’re one of the roughly 3 in 10 adults affected by varicose veins, then you know the pain they can cause. From avoiding shorts and skirts in summertime to suffering aching and swelling to feeling uncomfortable in your own skin, varicose veins can greatly reduce your quality of life.
Unfortunately, when it comes to getting rid of varicose veins, there is no miracle cure, no magic pill, and no expensive cream that will make them go away. But there are effective, non-surgical treatments that will relieve your symptoms and get rid of varicose veins permanently.
Why is it so hard to get rid of varicose veins on your legs?
To understand how to get rid of varicose veins on your legs, you first need to understand what’s going on under the skin. Varicose veins are caused by diseased veins that no longer work like they should.
In healthy veins, tiny, one-way valves keep blood flowing upwards – toward your heart. But in a varicose vein, those valves have become weak or damaged by age or injury. This causes them to leak. Gravity pulls blood down your legs where it pools inside your veins. That’s why the veins look so big and twisted, they are overloaded with blood.
There is no home remedy that will fix these leaky blood valves. And they will not get better on their own. But there are things you can do at home to reduce your varicose vein symptoms.
Wear Compression Stockings
Compression stockings (also called compression hose) are a proven method of relieving the pain, itching, and swelling associated with varicose veins. You can get them over the counter, but you may want to ask your doctor for a prescription to ensure the right fit.
Compression stockings work by gently squeezing your legs – more at the ankle and less further up the leg. This keeps fluid from building up, thereby reducing swelling and pressure inside your veins. Compression stocking can help your legs feel better, diminish your chance of developing venous ulcers, and help prevent new varicose veins from forming.
Put Your Feet Up
Since gravity is what’s causing blood to pool in your veins, you can turn things around by elevating your legs.
Raising your legs above the level of your heart will provide the most relief – try sleeping with your legs on pillows or doing yoga’s “legs-up-the-wall” pose. However, simply putting your feet up on a footrest while working or watching TV can also help.
Move Your Legs
When you move, muscles contract, helping to move blood through your veins. Try setting an alarm that reminds you to get up from your desk at least once per hour to take a short walk. If that’s not an option for you, calf raises and gentle stretches throughout the day can help promote blood circulation.
As you probably already know, carrying excess weight puts a lot of additional stress on your body, including your veins. If you want to get rid of varicose veins (and prevent new ones from forming) losing weight is the best place to start.
How to get rid of varicose veins permanently
While there are no home remedies that will get rid of your varicose veins, there are medical treatments that will. These treatments can be done in a doctor’s office during your lunch hour.
Minimally invasive vein treatments work by closing the diseased vein. Your body will naturally redirect blood flow to nearby, healthy veins where the blood won’t pool. In most cases, this provides permanent relief from the bulging, aching, itching, swelling, and leg fatigue caused by varicose veins.
There are several methods that can be used to close varicose veins.
- Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy uses a liquid compound to irritate the vein, causing it to collapse.
- Laser or radiofrequency ablation uses a special tool to heat the inside of the vein, scarring it closed.
- Vein glue is a medical-grade adhesive that literally glues the vein shut.
- Phlebectomy is a procedure in which your doctor removes the varicose vein entirely.
These procedures are all performed under local anesthesia, so you won’t feel a thing. And you will be able to return to most of your normal activities right away.
Get rid of the varicose veins on your legs
The first step in getting rid of your varicose veins is to see a vein specialist. Painless ultrasound diagnostics will show exactly what is going on inside your veins. Then, you and your doctor can sit down to develop your personalized treatment plan based on your individual needs.
Because varicose veins are a medical, not cosmetic, concern, most insurances cover vein treatment. And because the treatments are minimally invasive, you won’t have to take any time off of work.
The vein specialists at Dekalb Vein Center would be happy to consult with you today about how to get rid of your varicose veins.