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Autumn Blues. Look after your varicose veins

A visible network of spider veins on the legs is a nuisance, while large, protruding varicose veins should downright be your health concern. Here’s what you must know about the unsightly condition.

1. Veins are the sluggish part of your circulation system, carrying used, oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart. Ever seen those graphic anatomic charts? Venous blood vessels are pictured blue, as opposed to red arteries that pump fresh blood to muscles and organs. Veins sadly have a tendency to dilate over time to the point that they show through the skin. Not only that but the swollen blood vessels are prone to inflammation, and – yes, some of you know it all too well – they can sting and hurt.

2. Compression socks and active but not too strenuous sports that gently engage the legs – such as swimming, walking, light jogging and step aerobics – are the best way to prevent varicose veins. Once the veins are painful and visible and the problem persists one needs to seek medical assistance, as the blood vessel walls may degenerate and the condition is irreversible – not even creams, ointments and exercise will do the trick. Other than genetic predisposition, sedentary lifestyle and sitting or standing for extended times at the workplace are the main contributing factors.

3. Most people decide to give it crack and have those unsightly veins treated in summer, little knowing that autumn is actually a better time for the procedure – wearing roll bandage and compression socks for the recovery period is easier in cool weather, as well as avoiding sun exposure.Small veins can be effectively treated with injection therapy; even a few appointments show remarkable results. For a thorough vascular diagnosis and treatment plan it is best to consult a specialist – your doctor can explain the modality options and expected recovery times.