The only good news about Varicose veins, is that they can be treated 🙂 They usually result from valves in the veins that don’t function properly causing blood to collect in the veins rather than continue flowing to the heart. When this happens, the veins will appear swollen or raised and have a bluish-purplish color.
Varicose veins are not only unsightly; they can also be painful. They’re also fairly common, affecting approximately 25% of the adult population. The good news is that there is a range of treatment options for this condition from home remedies to modern treatments. Below we take a look at some popular home remedies as well as modern treatments for varicose veins.
- Herbal medicines – Nutritionists often suggest herbal medicines that address blood pressure, swelling and circulatory problems as a treatment for varicose veins too. These medicines include ginkgo biloba, witch’s hazel, sweet clover and others. However, to avoid potential complications, always consult with your physician before taking herbal supplements.
- Exercise – Exercise is highly recommended by doctors because it helps with blood circulation. Improved blood circulation can lessen the symptoms of varicose veins such as swelling, itchiness, and feelings of heaviness.
- Elevation – Elevating the legs also helps improve the blood flow in the legs as well as minimizes swelling.
- Massages – Massages work the same way as exercising in that they can help with blood flow and therefore reduce swelling and other symptoms.
- Apple cider vinegar – Apple cider vinegar as a treatment for varicose veins has been used for generations. It’s applied as a compress to the skin and should be done twice a day.
- Diet – Dietary changes such as limiting your salt intake to avoid retaining water and shedding excess pounds also help take pressure off of your veins, which will reduce swelling and inflammation.
Modern Treatment Methods
- Compression stockings – Compression stockings provide consistent pressure on the legs, which helps blood flow to the heart. The amount of pressure exerted depends on the type of stocking.
- Sclerotherapy – Sclerotherapy is a nonsurgical treatment that injects a chemical into the vein. The chemical causes the vein to close so that blood can no longer flow through. This is primarily a cosmetic treatment.
- Micro-phlebectomy – This scary sounding word is the medical term for removing large, protruding varicose veins. It’s a simple and quick outpatient procedure that significantly improves appearances.
- Laser therapy – There are two different laser treatments for varicose veins: simple laser treatment, which is performed on the outside of your skin and is mostly used to treat spider veins, and endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), which targets larger varicose veins. Both therapies use intense bursts of light to make the varicose vein collapse so that the blood is diverted to healthy veins instead.
- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) – This treatment uses radio frequency energy instead of laser energy to cause vein walls to collapse, and similar to laser therapy, causes blood flow to be diverted to healthy veins resulting in improved blood circulation.