Home Remedies

How can I reduce the appearance and discomfort of varicose veins?

Before you consider a surgical solution to your varicose veins, there are various home remedies that you can try. Over time, these may help reduce the unsightly visual impact of varicose veins and some of the symptoms associated with them.

These home remedies are particularly helpful in the case of mild varicose veins, or if you have only recently developed them. It’s worth investigating these home remedies for varicose veins as they can help reduce the discomfort you’re feeling: muscular cramps, swollen feet and ankles and burning or throbbing sensations.

Exercise more

A sedentary lifestyle is a significant risk factor for varicose veins – long periods of sitting or standing each day can allow blood to pool in the veins, leading to vein walls weakening and varicose veins developing.

Regular movement can help keep your blood moving, but you may want to avoid any high-impact exercise (such as running) as this can lead to other issues. You can learn more about the vein health benefits of exercise here

You are what you eat

Diet can also play a major role in the development or prevention of varicose veins. Foods that are high in salt can cause water retention and exacerbate varicose veins. It’s important to reduce your sodium intake (this can also assist with blood pressure issues).

The straining associated with constipation can also lead to varicose veins – this can be avoided by making sure you have enough fibre in your diet. Read our blog about varicose veins and diet for more tips.

Dress for comfort

Tight clothing and pinched, high-heeled shoes can also restrict blood flow. Especially now that many of us are working from home, the pressure is off in terms of dressing in a certain way for the office. Looser clothes and flat shoes can enable your blood to circulate more freely.

Watch how you sit – and for how long

Many of us spend too long sitting down each day – often because of the work we do. This again can lead to blood pooling in your lower legs – especially if you habitually cross your legs. Get into the habit of regularly standing up and moving about – if you find that you forget, set an alarm on your phone for every hour or half hour and go and get a glass of water (hydration also helps).

When you are sitting, try and elevate your legs (rest them on a box or another chair), and try to get out of the habit of crossing your legs.

Practice your massage skills

Gently massaging your legs can help keep blood moving – either do this yourself or ask your partner to help. If you do already have varicose veins, be careful not to massage exactly over them as this could even result in bleeding.

OTC remedies – and a note of caution

A number of vein health products are available, many of them containing grape seed extract which may help reduce swelling in your legs. You should seek medical advice before starting to use any of these products, especially if you are already taking blood pressure medication or blood thinners.

You can make things better

By following the advice in this blog, you can reduce your chance of developing varicose veins and also alleviate some of the unpleasant symptoms.

For more information on managing your varicose veins, and surgical options for more serious cases, contact Dr Francois Steyn on 012 993 4161 or 012 993 0911, or at francois@surgeon.co.za to arrange a consultation.