With age comes wisdom, maturity, experience … and gray hairs, worsening eyesight and creaky joints, among other affronts to health. One common, annoying and uncomfortable part of aging is the presence of varicose and spider veins. The conditions are widespread and usually not cause for much concern, but that doesn’t mean we’re happy to have them around when they decide to show up. While there are medical treatments available, such as surgery and laser treatment, there are also several natural therapies that just might do the trick.
But first, what exactly are these pesky things?
Both varicose and spider veins are swollen blood vessels that twist and turn. Varicose veins are the more serious of the two. They’re found in the legs, are highly visible and can sometimes cause symptoms including, but not limited to, cramping, aching, restlessness and tingling in the legs. Spider veins are smaller and can be found in both the legs and the face; they usually don’t cause any discomfort, however.
Now, what can you do to treat them?
1. Wear flat, comfortable shoes.
Women are more commonly plagued by varicose and spider veins than men and choice of footwear might be one reason. Poor circulation is one of the causes of these visible vein conditions and high heels can be to blame. Stay away from stilettos and stick to shoes with a heels under three centimeters.
2. Prop your feet up.
Increased pressure on your feet and legs can lead to varicose and spider veins. Reduce the pressure by keeping your legs above your heart when possible.
3. Invest in some compression stockings.
Compression socks and stockings can be a lifesaver when dealing with swollen veins. Be careful, though, with this tight footwear. They’re widely available without a prescription, but your doctor will be best able to advise you on how long you should be wearing them.
4. Apply apple cider vinegar to affected veins daily.
Vinegar really is a wonderful and versatile substance; it cooks, it cleans and it keeps you healthy! Grab a cloth or piece of gauze, soak it in apple cider vinegar and apply it to any area affected by the visible veins. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
5. Take a cold shower.
When the cold water hits the skin, it causes constriction of the veins directly underneath by stimulating the smooth muscle lining them. It can help relieve any pain, as well as strengthen the veins themselves.
6. Stop crossing your legs.
Frequent leg crossing can actually lead to these venous conditions. Again, constantly crossed legs lead to poor circulation and good circulation is key to keeping varicose and spider veins from appearing.
7. Wear pants that fit.
If you haven’t noticed by now, it’s all about circulation, circulation, circulation. Aside from creating some unsightly bulging, too-tight clothing can lead to poor circulation, which leads to vein problems.
8. Cut out the salt.
Excess sodium is never good for your health. Cutting down on salt is beneficial in so many ways, including as a method to avoid or get rid of varicose and spider veins.
9. Keep off weight with regular exercise.
Like reducing salt intake, keeping your weight at a healthy level is just a good idea for your overall wellbeing. Being overweight is one of the main causes of these venous issues, due to added pressure.
10. Add spicy food to your diet.
Love ’em or hate ’em, but you can’t deny that spicy foods can be beneficial. Many spices, including ones with a kick such as cayenne pepper, ginger and garlic, improve circulation, which can relieve many health issues.
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