How To Care For Varicose Veins and Improve Your Vascular Health

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Most of us are familiar with these unsightly veins that occur on the legs and feet. Varicose veins are usually swollen and appear to be blue or dark purple in color, they are often large and bulgy and appear to be twisted in appearance. Luckily, you don’t have to hide behind long dresses or pants with today’s new research and advancement, there are ways to naturally and medically treat this condition.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Legs with Varicose VeinsThis condition is usually caused by vein walls and valves that have been weakened. These valves act as a one-way delivery system which allows blood to pass but prevents it from flowing backward. Over time, these walls weaken and tend to lose their elasticity which causes the blood flow to leak. This results in the veins becoming enlarged and swollen due to the collection of blood in the veins. There are many factors that cause this such as age, gender, hormones, genetics, weight, and pregnancy. Jobs that require you to stand for a long period of time such as hairdressing may also cause these veins to appear.

Take Home Note:
Varicose and spider veins are usually caused by vein walls and valves that have weakened over time. It is usually a result of blood leaking and collecting in the veins. There are many factors such as age, gender, hormones, genetics, weight, and pregnancy which may contribute to developing this condition.

Is It Serious?

Fortunately, most cases are not severe and do not pose any health risks. It is, however, advisable that you take measures to care for your vascular health either naturally or surgically. In cases that are more severe which cause pain and discomfort, you should consult your doctor.

These are the symptoms you should look out for (1):

  • Throbbing, pain, and discomfort
  • The skin over the vein is irritated
  • Bleeding
  • Phlebitis (2)
  • Change of appearance, hardening, inflammation or skin ulcers.
Take Home Note:
In most cases, this vascular disorder does not pose any health risks. You should, however, consult a doctor if you are experiencing pain, discomfort, bleeding or inflammation.

How To Improve Your Vascular Health Naturally

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Healthy Couple Walking OutdoorsIt is no secret that being overweight contributes to many health disorders such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Being overweight also contributes to venous disorders due to increased pressure that causes the veins to weaken or break. Introducing a moderate exercise routine daily such as swimming or walking can help shed some of the pounds and aid with circulation which prevents the blood from collecting in the veins.

Get your Blood Flowing

Sitting with your legs crossed or standing for long periods of time can cause blood to accumulate in the veins. It is essential to keep moving for a consistent blood flow. Try sitting or lying down with your legs slightly raised, this will help to redirect the blood from the legs back to the heart.

Witch Hazel

Taking supplements with Witch Hazel helps to reduce swelling and helps to strengthen the walls of the veins because it acts as a natural astringent and helps to prevent future damage (3). Soaking your legs for roughly 20 minutes in a tub of lukewarm water with a few drops of witch hazel will also help.

Cayenne Pepper

Photo of Cayenne PepperCayenne pepper helps to prevent and reduce venous disorders because it contains bioflavonoids and Vitamin C which helps to promote a healthy and steady blood flow. Cayenne pepper also helps to reduce pain and discomfort of varicose veins as it helps to reduce swelling.

Take Home Note:
Taking precautions and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help to reduce swelling and pain associated with venous disorders. Improve your vascular health and blood circulation by losing weight, exercising and including cayenne pepper and witch hazel in your diet.

Treatment Methods

Compression Stockings

Compression stockings are designed to promote blood flow and reduce discomfort by applying pressure to your lower legs (4). They come in various lengths and sizes and are usually tighter around the feet. Your healthcare provider will need to measure your legs before deciding on which size would fit you best for your condition.


Sclerotherapy is when a chemical called sclerosant is injected into your vein to damage it, resulting in scar tissue. The procedure is normally done in a consulting room by a doctor. The leg is usually elevated while you are being injected to drain the blood. This usually takes about 5 to 15 minutes and a compression stocking may need to be worn for a short period thereafter. Sclerosant may cause burning or cramping for a few minutes during the procedure.

Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy for Varicose VeinsLaser therapy focuses on using a focused beam of light which is used on the outside of the skin. This therapy is often simple and used to treat small veins that are close to the skin. It works by heating the vein which damages it and causes scar tissue that helps to close the vein. By closing the vein, its appearance usually disappears within a year or two. Frequent sessions are needed which should be scheduled once every 6 to 12 weeks.

Vein Stripping

Vein stripping is minor surgery whereby a damaged vein is removed. One or more incisions are made under the vein, a flexible instrument is then threaded up the vein and used to grasp and remove the vein, it is then ligated. This surgery usually does not require an overnight stay at the hospital and is often performed under general anesthetic. This surgery should be avoided if you are suffering from medical conditions, have poor circulation, or have Lymphedema (5).

Take Home Note:
Minor surgery and treatments can be done to reduce the appearance of varicose and spider veins. These include laser therapy, Sclerotherapy, and vein stripping. Wearing a compression stocking that has been prescribed by your doctor can be safely used at home to reduce discomfort and pain by increasing blood circulation.
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