We hear a lot today about new lasers that can zap away varicose veins. For most people, it's more important to understand how to prevent them in the first place, because not only are they unsightly, but varicose veins can be extremely painful.
There are two things you can do to protect your legs. The first is exercise
"The muscles of the calf and the foot, when they contract, being by walking, cycling, swimming, any exercise, they push venous blood towards the heart, so helping intravenous circulation. So strong legs are very important," says Dr. Luis Navarro.
Dr. Navarro says the second is use compression stockings, particularly if you stand for long periods of time or if you're going to be on a long flight.
Compression stockings help circulation and keep leg veins from swelling due to blood pooling in the legs, and compression stockings are not so ugly anymore. They come in all colors and in graduated levels of pressure.
And one more thing to remember even though this may be an unavoidable risk factor, birth control pills with estrogen can weaken vein walls, increasing the risk for varicose veins. One more reason to exercise and use compression stockings when standing for long periods.