How to Get Rid of Varicose Veins

Three Methods:Adjusting Your LifestyleUsing Professional Products and Surgical ProceduresUsing Home Remedies

Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that usually appear blue or dark purple on your legs. They might also look lumpy, bulging, or twisted. Varicose veins develop when small valves inside your veins stop working properly and the blood flow collects in your veins. If you suffer from varicose veins, you may experience other symptoms like aching legs, swollen feet and ankles, and leg muscle cramps.[1]

Method 1
Adjusting Your Lifestyle

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    Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time. Keeping your legs in the same position for an extended length of time reduces circulation in your legs and can cause blood to pool in your veins. Focus on shifting or changing the position of your legs to maintain good circulation.[2]
    • Change your position every 30 minutes or so. Take a walk around the office or, if this is not possible, stand up and stretch your arms and legs every 30 minutes.
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    Keep your legs raised and uncrossed when you sit down. Elevating your legs while you sit can ease the pressure on your blood vessels. Keeping your legs uncrossed can also reduce pressure on your veins.[3]
    • Place your feet on a stool or another chair, when possible, to improve the circulation in your legs. Try occasionally lifting your legs so that your feet are above the height of your heart.
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    Sleep on your back with your legs raised. Elevate your legs as you sleep, as well. Keeping your legs elevated as you lie down can be just as important as elevating them when you are sitting down.[4]
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    Choose low-heeled shoes and loose clothing. Wearing high heels and tight clothing can make it more difficult for blood to pass through your veins. Low-heeled shoes or flats cause your calf muscles to work more as you walk, which also helps with circulation of blood flow in your legs.[5]
    • You should especially avoid tight clothes that cut off circulation around your waist, legs, or groin. Go for loose clothing or clothing that does not squeeze or constrict these areas.
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    Exercise on a regular basis. Including moderate exercise into your daily routine can improve both the circulation and muscle tone in your legs.[6] Exercising on a regular basis will also help you lose weight, if needed. If you are overweight or obese, shedding your extra pounds can ease the pressure on your legs and greatly minimize varicose veins.
    • A 30-minute walk or jog around your neighborhood a few days a week can greatly improve your overall circulation, especially the circulation in your legs.
    • Focus your efforts on cardiovascular exercises, which help to get the blood pumping throughout your body, and strength training exercises that target the legs in order to build and tone muscle mass there.
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    Do a restorative yoga pose. Restorative yoga is a type of yoga that uses props like a wall, a bolster or a block to support your body. In restorative yoga, there should be no muscle activation at all and you should use this practice to release any stress or tension in your muscles. Legs-against-the-wall pose is great for circulation and blood flow, thereby lowering the potential for varicose veins in your legs. Find a quiet, open area with a wall and place your yoga mat against the wall. Have a bolster or several rolled up towels next to your mat to use in these poses.[7]
    • If you have stiffer muscles, the bolster or support should be lower under your back, just above your tailbone, and placed farther from the wall. If you’re more flexible, the bolster should be closer to the wall. Your distance from the wall also depends on your height: if you’re shorter, move closer to the wall. If you’re taller, move farther from the wall.
    • Start with the bolster 5–6 inches from the wall. Sit sideways on the right end of the support. Exhale and swing your legs up onto the wall. Keep your shoulders and head on the floor. Your sitting bones don’t need to be right against the wall, but they should be a few inches from the wall. The bolster should be under your back area, higher or lower depending on your flexibility.
    • Bend your knees, press your feet into the wall, and lift your pelvis off the bolster a few inches. Then, tuck the bolster a little higher up, under your pelvis and lower back. Then, lower your pelvis onto the bolster and straighten your legs so they are now stretched out against the wall.
    • Keep your legs firm, with just enough weight to hold them vertically in place. Release your skull away from the back of your neck and open your shoulder blades away from your spine. Release your hands and arms out to your sides, palms up.
    • Stay in this pose for five to 15 minutes. You should feel the blood draining from your legs, into your hip area. This is a sign the blood flow is being reversed and flushed out.
    • Do not twist off the support when coming out of this pose. Slide off the bolster onto the floor and then bend your knees. Roll to one side and stay in the fetal position, with your knees bent and your head tucked in, for a few breaths.
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    Maintain a balanced diet. A balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can keep your salt levels down and your fiber levels high, thereby stabilizing your blood pressure and putting less press on your veins.[8]
    • A low-salt diet will minimize the amount of swelling in your legs connected to water retention. You should also focus on eating foods rich in fiber, such as whole grains like rice and quinoa. Bioflavonoids found in dark berries, dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, garlic, and onions also help to keep your veins healthy.
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    Quit smoking and limit your alcohol consumption. Tobacco and alcohol can cause high blood pressure. Cutting them out of your life or reducing their presence can help you get reduce your varicose veins.[9]
    • Alcohol can cause your blood vessels to dilate, which, in turn, can aggravate varicose veins. An occasional drink may not hurt, but frequent drinking will.
    • Smoking has a direct connection to blood pressure, and cutting smoking out completely is important if you plan to be rid of your varicose veins.

Method 2
Using Professional Products and Surgical Procedures

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    Wear compression stockings. These elastic stockings put therapeutic pressure on the veins of your legs, easing any leg pain and temporarily keeping your varicose veins in check. They are often tightest at the ankle and get gradually looser as they go further up your leg. This encourages blood to flow upwards towards your heart. However, compression socks are not guaranteed to prevent varicose veins from getting worse or prevent new varicose veins from appearing.[10]
    • Compression stockings come in a variety of different sizes and pressures. Most people with varicose veins will be prescribed a class one (light compression) or class two (medium compression) stocking. They’re also available in different colors, lengths (to the knee or to the thigh), and different foot styles (covering your whole foot or stopping just before your toes).
    • You can purchase compression tights from your local pharmacy or directly from a manufacturer online. Your doctor can also prescribe compression socks for you, based on the severity of your varicose veins.
    • While compression socks can improve circulation in your legs, you will likely need to wear them all day to see any noticeable results, they can make your legs hot and sweaty, and you will need to replace the socks every three to six months.[11]
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    Talk to your doctor about sclerotherapy. This is a type of injection that causes the varicose vein to close and fade from sight.[12]
    • During the procedure, your doctor will use a needle to inject a special chemical into the vein which will cause the vein walls to swell, stick, and ultimately shut. Blood flow stops completely and the vein eventually turns into a scar and fades from sight.
    • No anesthesia is needed, but you may need multiple treatments for the same vein. Treatments are performed every four to six weeks.
    • Another form of this therapy called microsclerotherapy may be used for spider veins or other small varicose veins.
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    Speak to your physician about surface laser treatments. Laser therapy is usually used on smaller veins. A strong laser light is directed at the varicose vein in short bursts, eventually causing it to disappear. The treatment is not generally effective for varicose veins larger than 1/10 inch (3 mm).[13]
    • Laser treatments can last for 15 to 20 minutes, and you may need two to five treatments before you get rid of the varicose veins.
    • No chemicals or incisions are made, but the laser can be painful nonetheless.
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    Learn about endovenous thermal ablation. For this treatment, lasers or radio waves are used to damage the vein with powerful heat. That varicose vein then scars shut and fades from view. Deeper varicose veins called saphenous veins are usually treated with this method.[14]
    • Your doctor will insert a catheter, or small tube, into the problem vein through which a small probe is inserted. The laser or radio waves are transmitted through the tip of this probe, closing off the vein.
    • Healthy veins around the closed vein take over the flow of blood. Varicose veins on the surface that are connected to the treated vein usually close up shortly after treatment, as well.
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    Ask your doctor about vein ligation and stripping. During this procedure, varicose veins are tied closed and removed from the leg through small incisions in the skin.[15]
    • This treatment was more common in the past but is generally only used for patients who cannot undergo endovenous thermal ablation.
    • You will receive anesthesia during this treatment, and the treatment will be performed in an operating room.
    • After the veins are removed, deeper veins will usually take over for the veins that are now missing, so blood flow should not be affected.
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    Consider PIN stripping. This treatment also entails the removal of problem veins, but in this instance, the veins are removed via an instrument called a PIN stripper.[16]
    • Your doctor will sew the tip of the PIN stripper to the end of the vein. When he removes the PIN stripper, the vein will be removed, as well.
    • This procedure can be performed with general or local anesthesia, and it will either be done in an operating room or an outpatient center.
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    Try ambulatory phlebectomy. For this treatment, small incisions are made to remove small problem veins close to the surface of the skin.[17]
    • Small hooks are inserted through small incisions in the skin. The vein is pulled out through these incisions.
    • Your leg will be treated with anesthesia, but you will not be put to sleep for the treatment.
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    Ask your doctor about endoscopic vein surgery.[18] In this treatment, an endoscope in inserted into the vein and used to close the vein from the inside.
    • This treatment is generally only used for varicose veins causing skin ulcers.
    • The doctor will make a small cut in the skin near a varicose vein. The endoscope, a tiny camera attached to the end of a thin tube, is inserted into the vein and pushed through. A device on the end of the tube seals the vein shut.

Method 3
Using Home Remedies

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    Be wary of home remedies for varicose veins. Home remedies or treatments may claim “unique” “permanent” or “painless” methods to remove your varicose veins. But they may not actually measure up to these claims. Always talk to your doctor about any health risks or possible side effects of home remedies before you apply them to your varicose veins.[19]
    • Some home remedies can interact with other medication, so ask your doctor if it is safe to take alternative remedies if you are on any other medication.
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    Try supplements containing horse chestnut. This herbal extract can be an effective treatment for chronic venous insufficiency, a condition associated with varicose veins where your leg veins have difficulty returning blood to your heart. It may also help with swelling and discomfort caused by varicose veins.[20][21]
    • Do not use horse chestnut if you have liver or kidney disease or take blood-thinning medication or diabetes medication. Never take more than the recommended dosage. If you are allergic to latex, you may also be allergic to horse chestnut.[22]
    • Talk to your doctor before trying horse chestnut seed extract, and ask him if he can recommend any certified providers of this herbal treatment.
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    Apply apple cider vinegar. While there is little scientific proof that this works, it remains a common folk remedy. The topical application of apple cider vinegar is thought to reduce the size of varicose veins.[23]
    • Soak a small cloth or cotton pad in a little bit of apple cider vinegar. Rub the vinegar over the varicose veins or wrap the cloth around your leg.
    • Let it sit on your skin for 30 minutes to maximize the effect.


  • To diagnose your varicose veins, your doctor will likely take a medical history, give you a physical exam, and may perform an ultrasound.
  • Varicose veins may be hereditary.

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Categories: Feet Knees and Legs