Why do they call them “spider veins”? If you’ve ever seen the creeping spread of blue veins just under the skin of your legs or feet, then you might just know why. Varicose veins are enlarged veins that often occur in the legs and feet because standing and walking upright builds up pressure in these veins. For most people, varicose veins are a cosmetic concern. For others, however, they may become uncomfortable or even painful.

varicose veins

Here are seven surprising causes of varicose veins:

1. Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most common causes of varicose veins. During pregnancy, the amount of blood in a woman’s body increases, while the amount of blood flowing from the legs to the pelvis actually decreases. This can cause the veins in the legs to become enlarged.

2. Crossing Your Legs

Crossing your legs changes the way the blood circulates throughout your body. Over time, a common habit of crossing your legs can lead to varicose veins caused by poor blood circulation.

3. Certain Skin Care Routines

The way you take care of your skin matters when it comes to preventing varicose veins. If you cut yourself while shaving, your normal blood circulation may become disrupted, which puts added pressure on the veins. Rubbing lotion on your legs can help keep your skin moisturized while increasing circulation.

shaving varicose veins

4. Sitting For Long Periods Of Time

Yes, sitting can cause many problems for your body, and varicose veins is no exception. You see, sitting for long periods of time can cause blood to build up in your legs, which can lead to varicose veins. Unfortunately, sitting all day can cause blood to pool in your veins instead of being pumped throughout your body by the muscles, leading to enlarged veins.

5. Lack Of Exercise

Lack of exercise can cause blood to pool in your veins. Exercising regularly and staying active can help maintain healthy blood circulation throughout the body to prevent varicose veins. Weight training can also help strengthen your body and reduce your chances of developing varicose veins.

6. Sodium

Salty foods can directly impact your veins. A diet full of sodium can lead to water retention, which puts a significant amount of added pressure on your blood pressure. This, in turn, can lead to enlarged veins. But be careful when cutting back on your salt intake.  Not all salt is bad – just too much of the wrong kind leads to problems.

7. Wearing High Heels

Walking around can help prevent varicose veins, but the range of motion in your ankles and calves is limited in high heels. You calf becomes stuck in a single position, which prevents blood from being properly circulated. Switch to flats every once in a while to help prevent enlarged veins.

If you already have varicose veins, don’t lose hope!  There are natural remedies to support your body and help you handle this unsightly situation.

Sources:
Mayo Clinc
Medline Plus
Healthy Eating

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