According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no known method of completely preventing varicose veins, but there are ways to reduce the risk of developing them. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a high-fiber, low-salt diet, elevating the legs regularly and refraining from sitting or standing in one position for too long can minimize their likelihood of developing.Continue Reading
A person's risk of developing varicose veins increases as they age, as aging causes the valves within veins to wear. As the valves wear down, the blood in the veins get backed up instead of flowing freely, which is what causes the condition to develop. Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy or menopause can also cause varicose veins, and women are much more likely to develop this condition than men, notes the Mayo Clinic. Taking birth control pills or getting hormone replacement therapy can also lead to the development of varicose veins.
Being overweight contributes to varicose veins since excess weight puts added pressure on the valves, causing them to wear quicker. Varicose veins look like swollen, twisted, dark-blue veins under the skin, and they sometimes burn, itch or ache. In more serious cases, the legs can swell, change color or become inflamed, and the skin can become very dry and thin. According to WebMD, varicose veins may also be a sign of deep vein thrombosis, a condition that requires medical attention.Learn more about Conditions & Diseases