How can I prevent varicose veins?

You may not be able to prevent varicose veins. You can reduce your chances of developing them by living an active, healthy lifestyle. Healthcare providers recommend many of the same measures to prevent and treat varicose veins:

  • Avoid long periods of standing: To encourage blood flow, take regular breaks to stretch and walk around, especially if you have a job that requires you to be on your feet.
  • Elevate your legs: Raising your feet above your waist helps blood flow to the heart.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Getting rid of excess pounds reduces pressure inside your blood vessels.
  • Quit tobacco use: Smoking damages blood vessels, decreases blood flow and causes a wide range of health problems.
  • Stay active: To improve circulation, move frequently and avoid sitting still for prolonged periods.
  • Try compression stockings: Support socks and hose compress the veins and help blood circulate, which can prevent varicose veins from getting worse.
  • Wear clothes that fit properly: To encourage blood flow, make sure your waistband isn’t too tight.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/13/2020.

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