Foot Ailments

How to Reduce the Appearance of Varicose Veins on Feet and Ankles

Up to 20% of adults develop varicose veins during their lifetime, so it’s a very common condition. Many people worry that their swollen veins will lead to something more sinister, such as deep vein thrombosis. In reality, this is seldom the case. That being said, varicose veins do pose a real threat to body image.

Sufferers of this condition are often embarrassed by their enlarged veins, so they cover up at all times. Covering the feet with heavy shoes during the summer months seems bothersome and counterproductive.

Thankfully, there are many things that can be done to improve the appearance of varicose veins. We’ll discuss how to manage your varicose veins effectively, so you’ll never need to hide your feet again.

What are Varicose Veins?

They are veins that have become swollen or engorged. This condition occurs when the valves in our veins stop working properly. The valves in our veins facilitate efficient blood flow. When the valve malfunctions, blood may reverse backward and start to ‘pool’ in the veins. This can cause one to develop. As we’ll explore, pressure on the veins and poor circulation are linked to this condition.

Varicose veins are not necessarily a cause for concern, but they may suggest an underlying health condition. In some cases, they can develop into a condition called chronic venous disease. It’s possible to improve the appearance of varicose veins and prevent new ones occurring by committing to some lifestyle changes. In some cases, more invasive treatment methods may also be required.

Common Presentations of Varicose Veins

They can occur anywhere in the lower trunk area.

It’s common to experience them in the following areas:

  • The groin
  • Just behind the knee
  • The backs of the calves
  • The ankle
  • The inside of the foot

They commonly occur in the legs and feet because these veins are on the periphery; they are most susceptible to the effects of gravity and excess body weight. Veins in the lower legs have a tough job pumping blood back towards the heart, so circulation in this region often become sluggish.

Varicose veins are purple, red, blue or flesh colored. They look like coiled pieces of string under the skin’s surface. If you run your hand over the infected area, the skin will be feel raised and bumpy.

They may develop quite slowly, starting out as a rash, an edema, or a light spider vein. As we’ll explore, there are some venous conditions closely related to varicose veins that you should be aware of.

Varicose Vein Symptoms

Some people find varicose veins very painful whereas others hardly notice their presence. Besides enlarged veins, you may experience some of the following symptoms.

  • Heavy, stiff or aching legs
  • Cramps in the legs and feet, particularly at night
  • Restless legs
  • Inflammation – the skin may feel warm
  • A ‘pulsing’ sensation in the legs
  • Numbness
  • Itchy, dry skin where the varicose veins are (this indicates varicose eczema and is often experienced alongside varicose veins)
  • Swollen feet and legs
  • Intense pain if the varicose vein is irritated by shoes or other clothing

Chronic Venous Disease

In many cases, they are harmless and will not lead to further issues. However, in some cases, they could indicate a condition called chronic venous disease or chronic venous insufficiency. According to the ‘Classification for Chronic Venous Disorders’ (CEAP) there are seven vein conditions that can indicate this disease.

As we know, having varicose veins implies that blood is not flowing as effectively as it could. If this persists for many months or years, blood could continue to ‘pool’ in the veins. This can cause them to develop into other conditions such as deep vein thrombosis or venous ulcers.

It is important to be aware of other vein conditions because having more than one suggests you’re at a higher risk of developing chronic venous insufficiency. Outlined below are the seven vein conditions that may be symptomatic of chronic venous insufficiency. It’s good to know the differences between these conditions in case you’re actually suffering from one of these instead.

Related Venous Conditions

The following conditions occur when the vein malfunctions and blood starts to collect in the vein. These conditions vary in severity and some warrant intensive medical treatment.

  1. Spider Veins

Spider veins – or telangiectasia – are very fine, dilated blood vessels that have the appearance of a spider’s web.  Spider veins may be red, blue or purple in color. They are a lot less noticeable than varicose veins and do not cause lumps and bulges in the skin.

It’s common for spider veins to appear on the face and neck. In a small number of cases, spider veins can appear on the legs and ankles. When spider veins appear on the face, they’re more likely to be caused by hormonal changes, sun damage or injuries. If spider veins appear on the legs or feet, they are more likely to be caused by blood collecting in the veins, or ‘venous reflux.’

Rarely, spider veins on the legs and feet can cause the skin to feel hot and itchy. This indicates an underlying venous condition may be developing, and varicose veins may begin to emerge over time. If you are experiencing spider veins on the legs that are hot and itchy, it is worth seeing a doctor.

  1. Corona Phlebectatica

Corona phlebectatica is a type of spider vein. These dilated blood vessels are blue or red in color and appear exclusively on the ankles. They look like very small ‘threads’ or spots in the skin. Because they are so faint, they may go unnoticed for some months or even years. However, Corona phlebectatica can indicate chronic venous insufficiency, especially if they present alongside varicose veins in the legs or feet.

A study published in NCBI found that having blue (rather than red) Corona phlebectatica is a strong indicator for chronic venous insufficiency. So, if you have blue spider veins on your ankles, consult your doctor for further investigation.

  1. Edema

Edema refers to excessive fluid retention and swelling in the body. It is common for edemas to occur at the ankles. In addition to feeling swollen, the skin may appear very stretched, like the surface of a balloon. If you press the skin of an edema with your finger, it will make an indentation that lasts quite a few seconds.

If varicose veins are accompanied by an ankle edema (i.e. swollen ankles), this suggests that medical intervention is required. Very mild edemas are common and can be caused by simple things such as eating too much salt or sitting for too long.

Pregnancy is also linked to this condition. However, persistent edemas suggest chronic venous insufficiency or another long-term condition. If you have persistent swelling in the legs and ankles, make an appointment with your doctor.

  1. Varicose Eczema

Also known as stasis dermatitis, varicose eczema tends to accompany more advanced or widespread cases of varicose veins. As with regular eczema, varicose eczema can persist for a long time, so taking good care of the skin is necessary for managing this condition.

Varicose eczema may cause the following symptoms:

  • A desire to itch, but the itch cannot be satisfied
  • The skin may become white, scaly and start to flake off
  • There may be a crusty appearance to the skin
  • The skin on the legs usually darkens in color and a mottled pigmentation may develop
  • Eczema may spread to other areas of the body where you don’t have varicose veins

A healthy turnover of skin cells depends upon optimum blood flow and a fully functioning circulatory system. Venous reflux leads to eczema because it prevents blood being pumped around the body efficiently, which ultimately impairs skin health.

If you have varicose veins with eczema, treating the eczema is likely to improve the overall look of the foot and ankle. Later we’ll discuss techniques for treating both varicose veins and varicose eczema.

  1. Lipodermatosclerosis

Lipodermatosclerosis is an advanced stage of varicose eczema. It is much more common in people who are overweight. Lipodermatosclerosis indicates chronic venous disease, and it may or may not be accompanied by varicose veins.

Symptoms include:

  • A hardening of the skin around the ankle area
  • The ankle turns red or purple
  • The calves become swollen. Sometimes, the ankles remain their normal size, making the calves appear very large in comparison

If symptoms such as these arise, a medical opinion should always be sought.

  1. Venous Ulcer

Almost all leg ulcers are categorized as venous leg ulcers. If an ulcer has arisen in conjunction with varicose eczema and varicose veins, this suggests chronic venous insufficiency.

If you have an ulcer, you’ll have many of the symptoms already mentioned, plus:

  • A very heavy feeling in the legs
  • A foul-smelling discharge will seep from the ulcer
  • You may experience a fever
  1. Deep Vein Thrombosis

Many people are worried their varicose veins will lead to deep vein thrombosis. Having varicose veins does slightly increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis – though the risk is small. If lifestyle changes are made to improve varicose veins, the risk reduces even further.

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when there is a blood clot in one of the veins in the leg. Varicose veins can somewhat obstruct the flow of blood, so may encourage clots to form. Whether you’ve got varicose veins or not, it’s important to stay active and hydrated and to manage your weight. This will discourage blood clotting and prevent damage to the veins.

Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, include:

  • A warm patch of skin on your legs
  • Very red skin
  • Pain in one of the calves, but possibly both

If you don’t get treatment, deep vein thrombosis can lead to a blocked blood vessel – or a pulmonary embolism.  Breathlessness, a tight chest, and collapse will occur as the result of a pulmonary embolism. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, it’s important to see a doctor.

When Should I See a Doctor for My Varicose Veins?

If you are experiencing a small number of varicose veins and you don’t have any pain, you should be able to manage this condition by committing to a series of lifestyle changes. There are things you can try to improve the appearance of varicose veins, and things that will stop the condition from worsening. In any case, if you visit a doctor regarding varicose veins, and you don’t have any symptoms of pain, it’s likely they’ll ask you to try some lifestyle changes for at least six months.

If one of your varicose veins gets grazed or starts bleeding, it can be difficult to stop the bleed.  In some cases, it’s necessary to visit a health professional to help contain the bleed. Moreover, if your varicose veins are causing you pain, it’s important to see a doctor. Similarly, if you’re suffering from blue spider veins on the ankles, chronically swollen ankles, dry and very itchy skin, leg ulcers, or you suspect deep vein thrombosis, it’s time to see a doctor.

For your peace of mind, we’ll discuss the treatment options your doctor may offer you, along with the pros and cons of each treatment.  Before this, we’ll explore the reasons why you might have developed varicose veins, so you can learn how to prevent them in the future.

Why do I have Varicose Veins?

People with weakened vein walls, faulty vein valves, and poor circulation, are much more likely to develop varicose veins. Weakened veins and poor circulation can be caused by a variety of genetic, hormonal and mechanical factors. As such, a large cross-section of society is susceptible to developing varicose veins.

If you’re facing this condition, you can probably identify with one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Being overweight
  • Pregnancy
  • Having a family member with varicose veins
  • Being over 60 years old
  • Being a woman
  • Standing for long periods of time in one position
  • A diet low in fiber
  • A history of blood clotting
  • Living a very sedentary lifestyle

Hormonal Changes and Varicose Veins

Women are five times more likely than men to be diagnosed with varicose veins. Why should this be? The female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are known to slacken the vein walls, which makes them more susceptible to venous reflex, or blood pooling.

The following hormonal factors may increase your chances of developing varicose veins:

  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy
  • Puberty
  • Taking birth control pills
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy

Nonetheless, men do suffer from this condition too, perhaps due to a hormone imbalance. A 2015 study published by Europe PMC found that males with varicose veins generally have higher than normal levels of estrogen, and lower levels of free testosterone. It is natural for testosterone levels to take a dive after the age of 50.

This may explain why varicose veins are more likely to occur in older rather than younger men. It’s quite rare for males to have a hormone imbalance of this kind before the age of 50, though it is possible in some cases.

Factors that can cause high estrogen (relative to testosterone) include:

  • Intense physical or emotional stress
  • High body fat percentage
  • A diet high in refined carbohydrates

All of these factors can cause levels of aromatase enzyme to spike, which may encourage testosterone to convert to estrogen. This could lead to varicose veins. Studies have shown that varicose veins in males tend to be more resistant to treatment. As such, it’s important to intervene as early as possible.

Varicose Veins in Pregnancy

Between 10 and 20% of women develop varicose veins during pregnancy. Many women assume the extra weight of their bump causes this condition. While excess weight probably doesn’t help the circulation of blood, there are two other reasons why pregnant women are more susceptible.

As discussed, pregnant women experience an increase in estrogen and progesterone. This appears to slacken the walls of the veins and make blood flow less efficient. Secondly, the blood flow requirement during early pregnancy increases by as much as 16 times. Varicose veins may arise if the woman struggles to meet this requirement. As such, varicose veins develop long before the woman has become heavy enough to experience strain on her legs.

The good news is that, if you develop varicose veins early in pregnancy (and you’ve not experienced them before), they’ll usually heal within a year of giving birth. If you don’t want to wait that long, there are some things you can do to improve their appearance, as we’ll discuss.

Varicose Veins from Working

It’s common for nurses, shop workers, and hair stylists to develop varicose veins. Studies suggest that, if your job involves a lot of standing, you’re at least twice as likely to develop varicose veins. Jobs that require you to stand still, such as security work, are the most hazardous.

Standing for long periods of time puts pressure on the veins in the legs, which discourages efficient blood flow. Also, being overweight puts further pressure on the veins. It’s easy to see how risk factors can quickly accumulate.

For example, if you’re an older woman, carrying a few extra pounds, and working in the service industry, that’s four risk factors ticked there. Although standing is unavoidable in many jobs, there are things you can do to take the pressure off your feet and improve circulation.

Are Varicose Veins Genetic?

If one of your family members has varicose veins, you’re more likely to suffer yourself. If both of your parents have varicose veins, the risk of you developing this condition is 90%. Some studies suggest that soft, elastic veins, and faulty vein valves, could be inherited traits. Moreover, some genetic disorders such as Kippel-Trenaunay syndrome are known to cause port wine stains on the skin and varicose veins.

If there is an undisputed genetic component to your varicose veins, invasive treatments will probably be required. However, many of the risk factors for the condition are environmental. Lifestyle choices tend to run in families, so this could partly explain why many generations of the same family suffer from varicose veins.  The good news is that most environmental factors can be easily modified to prevent this condition.

how to prevent spider veins

Can Diet Affect Varicose Veins?

Eating moderate portions is helpful for varicose veins because it will safeguard against obesity. But does the type of food we eat determine whether we’re likely to develop this condition?

A medical review on Jama Network states that eating a low fiber diet can lead to maladaptive gastrointestinal behavior. A poor gastrointestinal system has been linked to heart disease, appendicitis, hernias, deep vein thrombosis and varicose veins. According to this research paper, we should include high fiber grains and vegetables in our diet to protect against these diseases.

Secondly, a diet high in salt is known to increase blood pressure. When we overeat salt, our body may swell to try and retain water. The combined pressure can cause the veins and vein valves to slacken, possibly leading to varicose veins. As we’ll explore, a diet low in salt is likely to be helpful for preventing varicose veins.

Finally, research indicates that a diet high in flavonoids may protect against venous insufficiency. Flavonoids are found in fresh fruit and vegetables, particularly in berries. According to The Nursing Times, supplementing with a red vine leaf extract (high in flavonoids) can reduce swelling, improve the appearance of varicose veins, and help to stabilize the capillary walls. Findings like these suggest that there are affordable and safe ways to prevent varicose veins in many cases. Below we’ll discuss proven ways to prevent varicose veins forming in the legs and feet.

How to Prevent Varicose Veins

Learning how to prevent varicose veins is vital for managing this condition in the long term. If you’ve already developed varicose veins on your ankles and feet, it’s important to intervene as soon as possible. For most people, committing to the following strategies will prevent varicose veins getting any worse, and stop new ones appearing. After this, we’ll discuss the targeted treatments a doctor may offer for tackling existing varicose veins.

To prevent varicose veins, you’ll need to try and achieve the following.

  • Good nutrition
  • Healthy blood circulation
  • Mobility
  • Weight management
  • Good posture and body mechanics

As we’ll explore, there are various ways you can achieve these aims. It’s important to remember that some changes can take weeks or months to yield results, so don’t throw the towel in too soon.

Compression Socks

According to clinical studies, varicose vein compression socks are the most effective way to treat varicose veins manually. The socks work by compressing the ankles and calves to promote circulation. The socks are tightest at the ankles and gradually reduce in pressure as they extend up the leg. This design encourages blood to move towards the heart, rather than flow backward and pool in the veins.

As mentioned, varicose veins are sometimes accompanied by an ankle edema (swollen ankles). This is particularly common in people who are pregnant or overweight. Compression socks are incredibly effective at reducing swelling and returning the foot and ankle to its normal size. Undoubtedly, this helps improve the overall appearance of varicose veins on the feet.

Varicose vein compression socks may be prescribed as a first-line treatment by your doctor, especially if your varicose veins are not causing you any pain. They can be purchased without a prescription and swelling is usually improved in just a few days. However, these socks need to be worn consistently, over a period of months, to reap the most benefits.

Essential Oils

To prevent varicose veins, you need to try and improve your circulation. According to many homeopathic doctors, certain essential oils can support effective blood circulation. A study available on Semantic Scholar states that rosemary essential oil significantly improves blood circulation and alleviates pain. Cypress essential oil is also thought to improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation. Follow these steps to encourage healthy circulation in the legs and feet.

  1. Mix a couple of drops of cypress or rosemary oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil (jojoba, olive, coconut).
  2. Massage the oil into your legs and feet. Apply pressure in circular motions, moving your hands towards the heart.
  3. Allow the oil to penetrate the skin for at least twenty minutes, and rinse.

This type of treatment is best used as a preventative measure or a very early stage treatment. Never apply essential oils to dry, cracked or ulcerated skin.

Elevation and Massage

Do not overlook the benefits of leg elevation, particularly if you’re on your feet all day long. A study published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery found that elevating the leg encourages microcirculation and protects against varicose veins. Try placing a beanbag or a stack of pillows at the end of your bed and sleep with your legs in an elevated position.

Studies have shown that massage can greatly improve blood circulation, so it may help to prevent varicose veins forming. You don’t necessarily need to invest in a professional massage to reap the benefits. Consider the following alternatives:

  • Use a body brush. Brush the whole of the body (not just the legs) using firm circular motions. Try to direct the circular motions towards the heart. This will stimulate the lymphatic system and enhance blood flow. Body brushes can be purchased from most pharmacies.
  • Use a foam roller. Foam rolling (or myofascial release) can help relieve pressure in the legs and strengthen fibrous connective tissues. A study published by Science Direct found that foam rolling increased blood flow and improved pain in menopausal women.  Foam rollers can be purchased from athletics stores and pharmacies.

What can be done about a swollen vein on top of foot?

Supplements

Studies evaluating the efficacy of herbs and supplements are quite sparse because this kind of research rarely attracts funding.  Nonetheless, some studies have shown that the following supplements may be helpful for preventing varicose veins:

  • Horse Chestnut Seed Extract (Aesculus Hippocastanum) – One study found this supplement to be equally effective as compression socks for reducing chronic venous insufficiency!
  • Butchers Broom (Ruscus Aculeatus) – This seems particularly helpful for ankle edemas (swelling) as well as varicose veins.
  • Gotu Kola – Gotu Kola encourages healthy blood circulation and reduces swelling.
  • Red Vine Leaf Extract – Studies have shown that flavonoids improve blood circulation and vein health. Eating a plant-based diet that is packed full of colorful fruits and vegetables should allow you to increase your intake of flavonoids. Also, you could try a supplement rich in flavonoids such as red vine leaf extract.

All four herbs are widely available and considered safe for use. However, they may produce side effects in a small number of people, so it is a good idea to consult a homeopath before trying these.

Improve Diet

In addition to eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, it’s essential to commit to the following dietary habits:

  • Reduce your salt intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day. For direction on how to cut your salt intake, take a look at these
  • Stay hydrated – sip water regularly throughout the day to prevent water retention and encourage circulation.
  • Limit your intake of processed carbohydrates – this will manage your weight and decrease the amount of salt your body absorbs from food.
  • Eat a diet rich in fiber to protect against constipation. This may prevent varicose veins, as well as other venous conditions.

What Exercise is Good for Varicose Veins?

Pretty much any form of exercise will improve circulation. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, it’s important to become more active to prevent varicose veins worsening. If your mobility is limited, consider swimming or pool aerobics. Walking is another low impact alternative.

Tight calves may worsen varicose veins. As a result, some physicians recommend simple weightlifting or strength exercises (such as Pilates), because these engage the muscles in the legs and feet, which should kick-start blood flow in this area.

If your occupation requires a lot of standing, try not to stand in the same spot for long periods of time. Take regular breaks to sit down or stretch your legs. If you must stay in one place, try elevating yourself so that you’re standing on your toes, and hold this position for a few seconds. Repeat this exercise regularly throughout your shift.

What Are the Best Shoes for Varicose Veins?

There’s good evidence to suggest that wearing high heels can cause many foot complaints. However, there is no firm evidence to suggest that footwear can cause or worsen varicose veins.

Purchasing shoes that are comfortable is a good idea because this will facilitate mobility and encourage walking, which should promote circulation. As such, many physicians recommend sticking to low heeled, supportive shoes when you’re trying to prevent varicose veins.

How are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?

Some people delay seeking treatment for varicose veins because they’re ashamed of the condition, or they assume that nothing can be done to help them. In fact, varicose veins are highly treatable.

Here we’ll discuss what to expect when you visit your doctor:

  • Your doctor will ask you to describe any pain or symptoms you’ve been experiencing. They’ll also want to know when your varicose veins started to emerge.
  • The first step is usually to conduct a physical exam. Your doctor may ask you to sit with your legs dangling or to stand so that they can examine the veins.
  • If varicose veins are diagnosed, you will be offered a treatment. Depending on the severity of your condition, treatments range from conservative to invasive.
  • If varicose veins cannot be immediately diagnosed, your doctor may arrange further tests.
  • If chronic venous insufficiency is suspected, you may be referred for an ultrasound scan or a venogram. These scans can provide doctors with a close analysis of your veins, so they’ll be able to detect anything that is a cause for concern.

Depending on the seriousness of your condition, you may be referred to a specialist doctor to complete your treatment, such as a surgeon or dermatologist. To help you feel prepared, we’ll briefly discuss each of the medical treatments below.

How Are Varicose Veins Treated?

Over the last twenty years, treatments for varicose veins have evolved. The more invasive methods work by closing off or the removing the varicose vein.

Treatment options include:

  • First-line treatments to try at home
  • Endothermal ablation – a heat treatment to close the vein
  • Foam sclerotherapy – a foam treatment used to close the vein
  • Surgery – to remove the vein

Most doctors will offer conservative, manual treatments to begin with, and progress to more invasive treatments if manual treatments have failed. If other conditions coexist with varicose veins, doctors may opt for a more invasive option straight away. We’ll explore the pros and cons of each treatment below.

Home Treatments

First-line treatments essentially involve the ‘preventative’ measures discussed above. You would need to commit to these practices for at least six months. This would involve:

  • Wearing compression socks
  • Elevating the leg using pillows or a stool
  • Exercising regularly
  • Losing weight (if overweight)
  • Lubricating the legs and feet with an emollient cream

Positives

You can start conservative treatments straight away, and they cost very little. Conservative treatment methods do have any side effects and will considerably improve overall health.

Negatives

If you have very thick, unsightly varicose veins, conservative treatments are unlikely to change their appearance very much.

Endothermal Ablation

A small incision is usually made above the knee so that a catheter can access the varicose vein. The doctor will then apply energy to the varicose vein to cause it to constrict. Your doctor may use radiofrequency or laser to perform the ablation.  Once the varicose vein has been closed off, blood with automatically redirect to other veins in the body.

Positives

An endothermal ablation can usually be performed under a local anesthetic. In most cases, the outcome is as effective as surgery for treating varicose veins.

Negatives

There is likely to be some bruising afterward, and a sensation of pins and needles. However, it will usually pass within two weeks. Unfortunately, not everyone is suitable for this procedure.

Checking for varicose veins symptoms

Foam Sclerotherapy

A foam substance is injected into the varicose vein to damage the vein. The vein responds by closing down – thereby redirecting blood flow to other healthy veins. It takes about two weeks for the veins to start scarring and closing off.

Positives

This treatment is suitable for most people, including those with a history of deep vein thrombosis. It can be carried out under local anesthetic. Lots of varicose veins can be treated in one session.

Negatives

This is a new therapy, so practitioners are not fully aware of the potential long-term effects. It’s not unusual for some veins to reappear, so a second treatment is often required. Some people have experienced headaches and back pain as a side effect.

Surgery

Surgery involves completely removing varicose veins. The surgeon uses specialist equipment to tie off the vein and completely remove it. This type of surgery is invasive, so a general anesthetic is required. People with lots of varicose veins will usually be offered a phlebectomy as well. A phlebectomy is a surgery that can be performed under local anesthetic. It involves removing veins near to the surface of the leg, to prevent new varicose veins from developing.

Positives

There are lots of clinical studies to support the effectiveness of surgical removal. Phlebectomy can be performed under a local anesthetic.

Negatives

Surgery is conducted under a general anesthetic, so this poses additional risks, and extends the recovery period. Surgery can cause significant bruising. Phlebectomy can also cause considerable bruising.

Is Varicose Vein Surgery Painful?

After varicose vein surgery, it’s common to feel sore and bruised for many weeks. Some people experience swelling in their legs and ankles and may feel faint when standing. The pain might be quite intense, to begin with, but it usually gets a lot better within 4 – 8 weeks.

A few days after your surgery, you’ll be given compression socks to wear. You should wear these consistently and try to walk around to encourage circulation. Your doctor will advise you how much walking is necessary.

Will Varicose Veins Return After Treatment?

If you’re offered foam sclerotherapy, there’s a chance the varicose veins could return after treatment. Surgery, on the other hand, completely removes the varicose vein so the vein will not reappear after surgery. That’s not to say that other varicose veins won’t emerge, but a phlebectomy will usually protect against this. Furthermore, adopting the preventative methods described in this article should safeguard against the reemergence of varicose veins, in most cases.

Can Varicose Veins Cause Plantar Fasciitis?

Varicose veins do not directly cause plantar fasciitis. Rather, both conditions seem to be caused by standing for long periods, because this puts excess pressure on the veins, nerves, and muscles. As such, it’s quite common to suffer from both conditions. The treatments for these two conditions do vary, though both seem to benefit from regular stretching and mobility exercises.

How to Treat Varicose Eczema

Varicose eczema can often occur alongside varicose veins.

Depending on the severity of varicose eczema, the following treatments are available:

  • Self-care methods – avoid over washing the skin, apply a fragrance-free moisturizer after washing, and do not use any fragranced soaps or washes
  • Thick emollient creams (prescribed or over-the-counter)
  • Prescription corticosteroid cream
  • Oral medications may be prescribed

Treating eczema will help to improve the overall appearance of the feet, which should help draw the eye away from any varicose veins.

How to Promote Foot Health

Now you know how to improve the appearance of varicose veins on the feet and ankles, there are some further steps you can take to promote foot health.

These steps will help you feel more confident about exposing your feet in public:

  • Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes – get your feet measured and ensure you’re using the correct type of shoe for the activity you’re involved in.
  • Limit the use of high heeled shoes – high heeled shoes should be kept for special occasions as they’re known to cause a variety of foot problems.
  • Practice good posture – good posture and strong feet go hand-in-hand.
  • Practice foot hygiene – try not to get feet wet unnecessarily and always dry them thoroughly. Always wear flipflops in communal areas.
  • Cut toenails regularly – this keeps the feet looking healthy and prevents nasty nail conditions.
  • Stay mobile and active – this will keep the feet strong.
  • Visit a podiatrist – if you have any foot complaints, it’s better to get them seen to sooner rather than later. If left untreated, foot conditions can cause aches and pains to develop throughout the body.

Above all else, varicose veins indicate poor circulation. As such, your greatest defense against this condition is to improve your circulation. If you combine exercise, massage, compression technology and diet to achieve this, you’ll encourage a whole host of exciting health benefits!