How to Get Rid of Varicose Veins

Learn what varicose veins really are and how you can treat varicose veins without the need for surgery.

Sanaz Majd, MD,
November 14, 2016

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Getting rid of varicose veins can be as simple and easy as trying elevation, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, compression stockings, exercise, and reviewing your current medications. However, you don’t have to do anything: they are a cosmetic issue for the most part. Nonetheless, if you’re feeling some discomfort, try one of the tips to see if they help.

However, doctors still hear this question over and over again: “My varicose veins are so ugly, Doc! What can I do?” Today’s article will tell you exactly what to do about those nasty varicose veins.

What Are Varicose Veins, Really?

Varicose veins are dilated, tortuous veins that run right underneath the skin of the legs. They are completely benign for the most part, except for cosmetic reasons. They occur in women only a little more frequently than they do in men, and approximately half the population has them, according to the Society of Interventional Radiology. 


What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?

Fortunately, they are truly not as scary as they appear. And varicose veins are not life-threatening. Most people describe it as a mild tenderness overlying these enlarged veins, mild swelling of the legs, itching, sensation of skin tightening, or heaviness in the legs. The size of the vein does not correlate with the amount of discomfort. That means very small ones may cause discomfort and very large ones may not cause any problems at all. Symptoms are most commonly triggered after a period of standing.

But most people with varicose veins have no symptoms. The biggest complaint from my patients is that they just simply don’t look pretty. Not the worst health problem to have, I would say.

Who Gets Varicose Veins and What Causes Them?

People with a family history of varicose veins are more likely to have them. In addition, hormonal affects, such as the Pill or pregnancy, can cause enlarged varicose veins in those who are more susceptible towards them. They may or may not improve once the hormonal influences have been removed.

Also, those who tend to get varicose veins may get more of them with age

There are “doorways,” or valves, running throughout our veins that help to push the blood flow from the feet back up to the heart. And if this doorway is too “flappy,” fluid tends to accumulate in the veins, and they seem to “pop out” more than usual. Unfortunately, this “flappiness” of the vein valves is sometimes genetic, and there is not much you can do to prevent it.


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