Want to avoid unsightly and uncomfortable spider veins and varicose veins? Jacksonville vascular specialist Dr. James St. George tells you how.
“Much of the advice for avoiding spider and varicose veins comes down to simply living an active, healthy lifestyle,” says Dr. St. George, founder of the St. Johns Vein Center in Jacksonville, FL. The center treats a range of vascular conditions including spider and varicose veins, blue veins, pelvic and labial veins, chronic venous insufficiency, leg ulcers and restless leg syndrome.
Dos and Don’ts of Avoiding Spider and Varicose Veins
- DO exercise regularly, focusing on fitness routines that strengthen your legs and improve circulation. Running, power walking or dancing are great choices.
- DO reach and maintain a healthy weight to relieve pressure on your legs, knees and feet.
- DO wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun damage that can spread spider veins, particularly on the face.
- DO wear graduated support stockings or socks sold at pharmacies. Unlike regular knee-high nylons, socks or girdles that block the movement of blood up the leg, these specially designed stockings and socks apply a gentle, graduated pressure to the leg from the foot upward. This helps decrease expansion of the vein wall and improves circulation.
- DO opt for lower-heeled shoes to help tone your calf muscles and keep blood moving through your veins.
- DO choose low-salt, high-fiber foods and snacks like whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. The added fiber will help reduce the constipation that can cause varicose veins, and eating less salt can help keep varicose vein swelling at bay.
- DO elevate your legs while resting and flex your calf muscles while standing as much as possible. Elevating your legs them helps keep the blood from pooling in the veins. And flexing your calves keeps blood pumping upward and out of your legs.
- DON’T wear those gorgeous stilettos for too long. They keep your calf muscles from effectively pumping blood out of the leg.
- DON’T cross your legs for too long while sitting.
- DON’T sit or stand for long periods of time without a break. If you must stand for too long, shift your weight from one leg to another every few minutes. And if you sit at a desk or work table for most of your workday, stand up and move around or take a quick, brisk walk every half hour.
If you already have spider or varicose veins, a range of treatment options is available. Call the St. Johns Vein Center at 877-640-VEIN (8346) to schedule a consultation today.