What the Yuck?!

Can I Get Rid of Varicose Veins?


looking-at-legs
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Q: I'm in my 30s and I already have ugly varicose veins in my legs. Why did I get them, and how can I get rid of them?

A: As we age, the valves in our leg veins become weaker, allowing blood to leak backward and pool, leading to those lovely blue and purple bulges. Pregnancy and hormonal shifts (like those caused by being on the Pill) can increase your chances of getting em, as can having family members with the same affliction (thanks, Mom!).

Varicose veins tend to be harmless, though they may cause aches and pains—and if you have redness or swelling, see a doctor, as this could indicate a blood clot. The most effective (if not very sexy) way to prevent new varicose veins from forming is to wear compression support stockings, which can also ease any discomfort.

Other tips to try: Get more exercise, try not to sit or stand for long periods (and dont cross your legs when you sit), and avoid clothes that are super-tight in the waist, groin, or legs. Unfortunately, these moves wont erase those twisty bluish adornments for good—for that, youll need to see a vein specialist.

Roshini Rajapaksa, MD
Last Updated: July 12, 2011

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