Maybe you’ve heard that old advice not to cross your legs because it will cause varicose veins. This belief and many others aren’t really accurate. (The truth is that crossing your legs may bring those veins out if the condition runs in your family.) It can be hard separating fact from fiction when it comes to varicose veins advice, but, happily, fact-based information is becoming readily available through internet sites and professionals at a Minnesota vein center.
How Varicose Veins Form
If you were to take a look at your circulatory system, you’d see that arteries carry blood, packed with oxygen, out to your hands, legs, fingers, and toes. The veins, now blue, carry the deoxygenated blood on its return journey to the heart and lungs. This round-trip is propelled by the muscles of your legs and feet and valves that direct the flow of the blood.
Sometimes, those valves weaken, allowing blood to pool and resulting in veins that stretch until they protrude. The result of this is varicose veins that may be red, blue, or flesh-colored. The twisting veins usually develop in the legs and may lead to pain or uncomfortable rashes.
Other than crossing your legs, there are some factors that increase the risk and appearance of the veins. These include:
* Standing for long periods
* Being overweight
* A sedentary lifestyle
* Genetic predisposition
How to Prevent Unsightly Veins
Is there anything you can do to reduce your risk of getting these unsightly veins? One of the most effective preventative measures is exercise, such as biking or swimming (which don’t put a lot of added stress on the legs) and walking or yoga (which gently work out the muscles involved.) You can also swap out your heels for flats, sit with your legs propped higher than your heart during your lunch break or at the end of the day, and wear support hose when possible. Discuss this option with the healthcare team at a Minnesota vein center for help identifying effective hose.
Addressing the Problem
If you’re already bothered by the presence of varicose or their smaller counterpart, spider, veins, you could use a self-tanner to minimize their appearance. You could also try a water-resistant makeup, specially created for the body. If you’re experiencing discomfort, talk to a professional about alleviating minor aches and pains. Finally, a dermatologist can remove the protruding veins with an injection procedure or laser ablation. These options aren’t usually covered by insurance, but many women find the investment is worth the improvement.
Most of the time, these veins are not a serious health problem, even when they become uncomfortable. However, spider veins sometimes result as a symptom of backed-up blood deeper beneath the skin. Less frequently, varicose veins may lead to sores and skin ulcers, bleeding, thrombophlebitis (a blood clot that forms just under the skin), and deep vein thrombosis. The last issue is a deep vein blood clot that doesn’t always give warning signs before traveling to the heart or lungs. If you do begin to feel pain associated with these veins, discuss the situation with your doctor right away.