Treat Varicose Veins Between Pregnancies

Your risk of developing vein disease – especially varicose veins – increases if you have a family history of them or if you spend long periods of time standing or sitting.

Varicose veins affect both women and men, and a common risk factor for women is pregnancy. More than 40% of pregnant women experience varicose veins during pregnancy.

These bulging, twisted veins can cause legs to feel heavy, restless, painful, and achy, and increase the risk of developing blood clots.

Pregnancy causes a woman’s body to work harder than normal, leading to the development of varicose veins. Here’s why:

  • The body produces higher levels of progesterone, which are linked to varicose veins.
  • These increased hormone levels relax veins and promote blood to flow in the wrong direction.
  • More blood is flowing through the body, causing the veins to work harder, resulting in weakened valves that can lead to pooling of blood within the veins.
  • The pressure of an enlarged uterus on the pelvic veins can obstruct the veins from draining into lower extremities and lead to the backflow of blood.

For many women, varicose veins will be less noticeable (although still present) after pregnancy once progesterone levels return to normal. For others, vein disease will progress after pregnancy, worsening the look of and pain associated with varicose veins.

The good news? In both cases, a thorough evaluation and noninvasive treatment can help. And a consultation can be scheduled between your second and third trimesters.

During the consultation, we will assess your level of vein disease, explain the condition and answer your questions, and fit you for compression stockings (insurance requires these to be worn prior to treatment). Modern technology allows for vein disease to be treated in between pregnancies.

Our founder Dr. Rimas Gilvydis, a board-certified vascular and interventional radiologist, has spent his career treating vein disease and educating patients, individuals, and the medical community that vein disease – including varicose veins – is not purely cosmetic and that painful vein stripping (which your mother or grandmother might have experienced) is a thing of the past.

The Northern Illinois Vein Clinic team has performed more than 24,000 successful laser vein treatments, delivering innovative treatment with minimal downtime and discomfort. We are known for excellence in vein care and for always providing the highest-quality, individualized care with the best possible outcomes for our patients.

If your varicose veins appeared during or after pregnancy, call us at 815-981-4742 to schedule a consultation or contact us right here on our website. Don’t let the debilitating pain often associated with vein disease take time away from your pregnancy or time with your children.

Why Are Compression Stockings Important?

Compression stockings are snug-fitting pieces of clothing for the legs. They look similar to other socks or stockings, but their unique design puts gentle pressure on your ankles and legs. Compression therapy is likely to be recommended if you have varicose veins or another type of venous insufficiency.

How Compression Stockings Help Veins

Healthy veins have a series of valves that help push blood upwards to the heart. This promotes good circulation in the feet and legs. When someone has a vein disorder, however, leg valves don’t always work correctly. Without the needed pressure, blood can start to pool in the feet, triggering the pain, discomfort, and aesthetic issues related to varicose veins.

Compression stockings assist with blood flow. They can reduce the size of your veins, which increases upward pressure and improves circulation. Compression stockings can help with the symptoms of vein disease but do not stop the progression of the disease. Here are some of the ways this type of vein treatment can help:

  • Heavy or aching legs:

    • Compression socks give your legs a rest. That way, they feel lighter and more comfortable throughout the day.
  • Swelling:

    • Some people who have varicose veins experience pain, swelling, burning, or itching. By preventing blood from pooling, compression stockings can alleviate these symptoms.
  • Poor circulation:

    • If you usually have poor circulation in your toes, feet, ankles, or legs, this type of therapy may improve things significantly.
  • Dizziness:

    • With good circulation, your heart doesn’t have to work hard to get blood to your tissues. This can reduce feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness.

In addition to these benefits, compression stockings support your veins and may reduce the appearance of spider veins and varicose veins. They also help prevent serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and leg ulcers.

Types of Compression Stockings

There are three main categories of compression stockings, along with countless individual styles. Your doctor may prescribe knee-length or thigh-length stockings with the right amount of pressure, depending on your needs.

Graduated compression socks are usually the ideal choice for vein treatments. They start tighter and get looser toward the top of your leg.

Patients who aren’t able to be very mobile may benefit from specialized anti-embolism stockings. This type of compression therapy is usually firmer than other stockings for vein treatments. It provides extra protection against DVT when physical activity is challenging.

Nonmedical stockings (also called support hosiery) are general compression garments that focus on giving tired legs a rest. Athletes, pilots, and other people with aching legs may experience some benefits, but these are more for everyday use and prevention rather than part of the vein treatment process.

Why Are Compression Stockings Important?

As people age, the risk of developing a vein condition becomes more likely. The walls of veins start to weaken, making it harder for them to transport blood correctly. Compression stockings can provide vein support. This is especially important following vein treatments, such as endovenous laser ablation or sclerotherapy for varicose veins.

Compression stocking can help with the symptoms of vein disease before treatment. We encourage patients to use them before treatment and one to two weeks after endovenous laser ablation treatment. One of the most important roles of compression socks is to prevent blood clots from forming. People who have chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) are at risk of DVT and pulmonary embolism, which are life-threatening. Because compression stockings promote healthy blood flow in the feet and legs, they can significantly reduce DVT risk. Wearing them may literally save your life.

FAQs for Compression Stockings

Here are the answers to several common questions about compression stockings. This information is general. It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor for more specific recommendations.

  • Do You Have To Wear Compression Stockings All the Time?

    • Compression stockings are designed to be worn during the day. You should take them off before going to bed at night. When you get out of bed in the morning, put them on again.
  • Why Do Compression Stockings Require Professional Fitting?

    • Each pair of compression stockings needs to fit your legs perfectly. Such a complex measuring process always requires the expertise of a vein specialist.
    • The stockings have to apply just the right amount of pressure to work properly, not too much or too little. In fact, the pressure varies in different parts of the garment. The bottom part near your ankles needs to squeeze your legs more firmly than the area closer to your calves.
  • Who Should Wear Compression Stockings?

    • Individuals with varicose veins or CVI should wear compression stockings. People who are at risk for DVT, such as someone recovering from surgery, also need them. If your job requires you to spend extended periods of time standing or sitting, you may want compression socks for extra support.

Learn More About Professional Compression Treatments

If you have varicose veins or another type of circulatory issue, there are many vein treatments available that can help. At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, we have caring professionals who want to help you find relief. Find out more about high-quality compression stockings and other options that really work by contacting us right away. You can also reach us by calling (779) 696-8346.

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Image Credit: Shutterstock/ Albina Gavrilovic

Family history increases risk for developing varicose veins

It’s important to know our family history for various medical issues, from cancer to vein disease.

A visit to the doctor’s office is a frequent reminder of this need-to-know information every time we have to fill out a form or confirm details with a nurse during a checkup.

Another question to ask your immediate and/or extended family members is for their history with vein disease, be that varicose veins, spider veins, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It’s common to assume these issues are just cosmetic, but vein disease is serious and will worsen over time if left untreated.

Study links varicose veins, DVT

How serious are varicose veins? A 2018 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that among adults with the condition, there is a significantly increased risk of developing DVT, when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs.

A blood clot is a life-threatening complication, so treating varicose veins before they get worse is critical. There are real health risks associated with vein disease.

Symptoms can be debilitating

The look of varicose or spider veins can be annoying and embarrassing. They can appear as red and blue spidery lines on our legs or bulging, twisted veins that make us choose long pants over shorts or a bathing suit every time (or be grateful for added layers during the winter months).

But clothing doesn’t cover up the symptoms of vein disease, which can feel unbearable and interfere with everyday activities like sleeping, standing, and walking. The most common symptoms of varicose veins include:

  • Aching or throbbing pain in the legs
  • Slightly swollen legs, ankles or feet
  • Itchy legs
  • Hot or burning sensation in the legs
  • Heaviness in the legs or feet
  • Restless legs
  • Skin that looks discolored or thick along the legs or feet

Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. Or you can contact us anytime for a consultation, and we can determine what next steps are needed.

 Ask Your Parents

Nearly 55% of women will develop varicose veins, and 45% of men, too. That’s why it’s critical to understand your family history on both your mother’s and father’s sides. Vein disease affects both men and women.

The earlier vein disease is treated, the better, and women no longer need to wait until after they’re done having children. Vein disease can be treated between pregnancies, and we can do consultations for women in their second and third trimesters.

Men are less likely to seek treatment for vein disease. Men tend to wait on treatment and ignore the early symptoms, allowing the disease to advance. Men will seek treatment when they start experiencing the more debilitating symptoms of the disease. Vein disease affects individual lifestyle activities and quality of life. Today’s treatment is safe, with little or no downtime allowing men to get treatment without having to miss work.

One of your parents or grandparents may be reluctant or hesitant to talk about varicose veins because they were previously treated with painful vein-stripping procedures. Those are outdated treatments. At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, our founder Dr. Rimas Gilvydis performs minimally invasive sclerotherapy and endovenous laser ablation that produce minimal pain and offer little-to-no downtime.

Our team has performed more than 24,000 successful laser vein treatments. Don’t wait to schedule a consultation for varicose or spider veins. Act now to stop the progression of vein disease, which, if left untreated, can debilitate your quality of life and limit your active lifestyle.

We Prioritize Your Experience

Living with the symptoms of varicose veins or other vein disease can be debilitating and disrupt your quality of life.

Taking steps to talk to your doctor about your symptoms or start researching options for care can also feel intimidating. The information can seem overwhelming and reading about a potential online diagnosis can cause anxiety.

Our founder Dr. Rimas Gilvydis and our team here at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic (NIVC) work to remove the stress and fear from seeking treatment for varicose veins, spider veins, and other leg vein issues.

Patients are some of our strongest advocates, regularly leaving five-star reviews and feedback on Google, Facebook, and other health care platforms. We take great pride in knowing our patients leave our clinic with a good experience and great results.

Here are some of the most common comments we hear from patients.

“I wish I would have come in sooner.”

You will hear us frequently say that vein disease is progressive if left untreated. Many people suffer in silence or live with the debilitating pain from varicose veins for years before talking to their doctor about their symptoms or coming to see us for a consultation.

That’s why we work hard to teach people about the signs and symptoms, as well as the stages of vein disease.

Another reason people delay treatment is because they think it still involves the painful vein stripping procedures that were common many years ago (maybe your mother or grandmother went through that). Today’s varicose vein and spider vein treatments are minimally invasive, and our patients experience little-to-no downtime.

Though the risks of vein disease increase as we get older, it can develop in your 20s or 30s, especially after pregnancy and/or if they run in your family. The good news is you can treat these painful, bothersome veins at any age, including between pregnancies.

“My experience was easy.”

This is feedback we’re especially proud of. It’s our goal to make vein treatment as seamless as possible, whether you start with a free screening or consultation or are referred by your doctor.

Vein disease in most cases is a medical condition, not just a cosmetic issue. Our staff will work with your insurance to secure coverage whenever possible to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Patients say treatment is painless or they experience minimal or temporary pain. It’s minimally invasive and delivered in the comfortable setting of our clinic by our accredited staff.

“The team was friendly and helpful.”

Yet another point of pride! Vein disease is common, but not commonly understood. Patients tell us our staff makes them feel comfortable by explaining their condition and all the available treatment options, as well as clearly outlining the next steps for their care.

Learn more about our awesome team – including their education, training and why they love working at NIVC – here.

At the end of the day, we’re happiest when patients tell us they are pain free and able to get back to everyday activities that had been disrupted by vein disease. That could be something as simple as taking the dog for a walk without leg pain or hitting the gym again to stay healthy rather than be sidelined by bulging, achy varicose veins.

Call us at 779-696-8346 to come see us at our clinic or request a free screening online. We look forward to delivering the same five-star experience our patients have come to expect.

Pregnancy and Varicose Veins

Spider veins and varicose veins are parts of pregnancy that many people don’t talk about, which is why it’s natural for new moms to get nervous. If you’re pregnant or in between pregnancies and have spider veins or varicose veins, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are the answers you’re looking for.

Are Varicose Veins Common During Pregnancy?

Varicose veins are actually fairly common in pregnant women. Pregnancy causes a woman’s body to work harder than normal, leading to the development of varicose veins. Approximately 40% of women experience spider veins or varicose veins during pregnancy. These bulging, twisted veins can cause legs to feel heavy, restless, painful, and achy, and increase the risk of developing blood clots.

Of course, you don’t have to be a first-time mom to be surprised by this vein condition. Some women have several children without noticing any problems, only to experience varicose veins during their third or fourth pregnancy.

Are Varicose Veins Harmful to a Pregnancy?

While seeing bulging veins can make you understandably nervous, you can rest easy, they don’t hurt your baby.

Veins disease can produce a range of symptoms, including discomfort, itching, pain, swelling, heaviness, or burning Sometimes, the swollen veins mainly cause cosmetic issues. Other times, women have trouble sleeping because of the throbbing. Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate many of these symptoms.

For many women, varicose veins will be less noticeable (although still present) after pregnancy once progesterone levels return to normal. For some, vein disease will progress after pregnancy, worsening the look and pain associated with varicose veins. The good news? In both cases, a thorough evaluation and noninvasive treatment can help. Modern technology advances allow for vein disease to be treated in between pregnancies to initiate a faster response to stop the progression of the disease.

Are Vein Issues Hereditary?

There are several potential causes of varicose veins. For instance, family history of vein disease can increase your risk of developing varicose veins during pregnancy.

What else causes varicose veins in pregnancy? Here are a few additional reasons pregnant women can experience them:

  • Blood volume: During pregnancy, your body produces a higher volume of blood than normal. This increases the amount of pressure your veins have to deal with.
  • Hormones: Some of the hormones released during pregnancy dilate your blood vessels to allow more blood through. At the same time, these hormones soften vein walls. This combination can lead to bulging veins.
  • Fetal development: As your baby and uterus grow, they exert more pressure on the veins in your legs. This pressure can temporarily prevent some of the blood from returning to the heart. That’s why varicose veins primarily occur in the legs.

This means that there’s not much you can do to avoid or prevent spider veins from appearing. Think of this condition as a part of pregnancy, similar to morning sickness or back pain.

Are There Any Steps You Can Take to Alleviate the Symptoms?

There are several things you can do to make the symptoms better:

  • Rest with your legs raised
  • Swim
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • Take a nap
  • Sleep on your left side
  • Wear compression stockings

Doctors don’t generally recommend any treatments or medication for varicose veins during pregnancy, but you can treat them in between pregnancies should you plan to have more children.

What can you do during your pregnancy?

During your 2nd or 3rd trimester, you can schedule a consultation to have your level of vein disease assessed and have all your questions about vein disease answered. You can be fit with compression stockings to alleviate your symptoms during your pregnancy.

Are Varicose Veins Permanent?

This is one of the biggest questions that moms-to-be have. Will your veins ever go back to normal?

At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, we know how important healthy legs are to any woman. After careful research, we’re happy to say that varicose veins caused by pregnancy can often disappear afterward. Veins typically go back to normal a few months after giving birth. For some women, though, vein disease will progress, worsening the look of and pain associated with varicose veins and potentially causes bigger issues such as blood clots.

What if you’ve already had your baby but still see hints of spider veins or varicose veins that you don’t like? Are there any treatments if you still have some swelling or pain? Here are several noninvasive and comfortable treatment options. For example, endovenous laser ablation uses a tiny laser to seal problem veins.

If you want to find out more about any of the treatments, which can be performed after or in between pregnancies, we’re happy to help. Contact our caring medical professionals for great answers to all of your questions.

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock/ADragan

Know the Signs of Vein Disease Before It Progresses

Why wait to schedule a consultation for varicose or spider veins, or consider treatment that can help address leg pain and discomfort? Act now to stop the progression of vein disease, which if left untreated can harm your quality of life and limit your active lifestyle.

It’s important to recognize the signs of vein disease now to prevent further complications. We can help explain how vein disease can progress and what signs to consider. There are seven main stages of vein disease, ranging from signs that are less obvious to more serious.

  • Stage 1: Know that vein disease may not be visible yet. You may have vein disease even if you do not see varicose veins at the skin’s surface. Symptoms include leg pain, aches or cramps, throbbing, itching, heaviness in your legs, burning, swollen legs or ankles, and restless legs.
  • Stage 2: Keep a look out for spider veins. Spider veins are small, damaged veins that appear on the legs’ surface. They can be blue, purple, or red, and look like thin lines, web-like networks, or branches. These veins can cause aching, burning or pain.
  • Stage 3: Watch for varicose veins, which are enlarged, swollen veins that are often dark purple or blue in color. Primary symptoms are pain, swelling, heaviness and discoloration. The veins can bleed, and ulcers can form when the disease progresses.
  • Stage 4: Check to see if you are experiencing edema. This is swelling in the legs and ankles. Leaky valves cause blood to pool in your legs, which causes swelling when you are on your feet for long periods of time.
  • Stage 5: Look for corona phlebectatica, which are abnormally visible blood vessels at the ankles that look like blue and red spider veins. Common symptoms are pain, itching, a burning sensation and swelling.
  • Stage 6: Be aware of skin changes. Bleeding and fluid buildup caused by damaged veins can affect the skin’s color. Progressive skin changes can lead to leg ulcers. Symptoms include pain, hardening of the skin and skin color changes.
  • Stage 7: Watch for leg ulcers. This stage produces a wound on the leg or ankle caused by abnormal or damaged veins, leading to venous hypertension and a breakdown of the tissue.

There are three easy steps to receiving great results. First, schedule your consultation. Scheduling your first appointment is easy. Contact us today for a free screening.

Second, talk through health insurance benefits with one of our insurance experts. After receiving your approval letter, we will reach out to you about financial planning.

Lastly, get your vein treatment scheduled. Leading-edge, minimally invasive treatment options are performed in our state-of-the-art facility by Dr. Rimas Gilvydis. We provide quick, convenient in-office treatment with excellent results that require little-to-no downtime.

As a reminder, you can reach out to us anytime for more information about vein disease and to request a screening. Don’t hesitate to also ask your existing health care team – a nurse, family doctor or podiatrist – about vein disease and be honest and open about your symptoms.

Does Vaping Harm Veins?

Vaping is widely marketed as a “safe” alternative to traditional cigarettes. Unfortunately, e-cigarettes still have nicotine, as well as substances such as propylene glycol and glycerol. Do chemicals from vaping damage your veins (including those in your legs, which could contribute to conditions such as varicose veins)?

How Do Chemicals from Normal Cigarettes Affect Your Veins?

Smoking is one of the best-known causes of heart disease. It has terrible effects on the circulatory system, which includes veins and arteries.

  • Swelling:

Chemicals in cigarettes irritate the lining of blood vessels. This causes veins and arteries to become swollen and narrow.

  • Blood clots:

Different kinds of cigarette chemicals can cause blood clots to form, potentially causing a heart attack.

  • Artery damage:

Smoking weakens and damages blood vessels, even in teens. This can lead to serious vein problems later in life.

  • Blockage:

Over time, cholesterol and other deposits build up inside veins and create plaque. People who smoke have higher levels of plaque.

If you want to keep your blood vessels in great health, avoid smoking at all costs. Can vaping lead to these same scary effects?

What Do Studies Say About Vein Damage from Vaping?

The truth is that it’s too early to know exactly how the chemicals in e-cigarette vapor will affect cardiovascular health long term. Because e-cigarettes are a relatively new invention, there aren’t as many studies available. Preliminary findings aren’t good, however.

One recent European study found that vaping led to problems in the inner lining of blood vessels. It caused arteries to stiffen, making them more vulnerable to damage. Nicotine, present in all e-cigarettes, is proven to trigger a rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure.

What Effects Do E-Cigarettes Have on Blood Vessels?

What scientists do know is vaping causes swelling in blood vessels, at least temporarily. In one study, blood vessels swelled an average of 34%. In addition, blood flow slowed by over 25%.

When your blood slows, risks of developing varicose veins increase. Pooling blood puts excess pressure on veins, potentially damaging tiny valves that help with normal blood flow. Vaping appears to increase the risk of developing spider veins and varicose veins. If you already have these conditions, vein damage from vaping may make them worse.

Why are Varicose Veins a Problem?

Vaping affects vein health, including leg vein health. Varicose veins also cause significant pain, discomfort, itching, or throbbing. Sometimes, the pain is so bad it’s hard to sleep at night. Varicose veins shouldn’t be a problem for you if you follow the right plan of action.

What Should You Do if You’re Worried About Varicose Veins?

The first line of defense is to prevent spider veins or varicose veins from worsening. This often involves lifestyle commitments or adjustments. Here are some tips that can help.

  • Avoid standing or sitting for extended periods of time
  • Exercise regularly
  • Reduce the amount of salt you eat
  • Choose shoes with low or no heels
  • Don’t sit with your legs crossed
  • Don’t smoke or use e-cigarettes

To eliminate varicose veins and spider veins completely, you need the assistance of a medical professional.

Contact Northern Illinois Vein Clinic

Our friendly team can walk you through all the treatment options available to you. We provide personalized treatment solutions that include recommendations related to your lifestyle. To learn more, contact us online or call 779-696-8346 right away.

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Featured Image: Shutterstock / Eldar Nurkovic

Ask Your Podiatrist about Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a common condition, affecting up to 35% of the U.S. population by some estimates. That shared experience means people seek us out here at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic in a variety of ways.

Individuals can contact us directly for a screening or consultation if they’re experiencing symptoms of vein disease. Those symptoms include burning, itchiness, and achiness in the legs, or visible/unsightly varicose and spider veins.

Many patients also are referred to us by their primary care or family practice doctors, which is why we work with many Geneva- and Sycamore-area hospitals and health systems to educate physicians about the progression of vein disease and what that looks like.

Another specialty that’s often familiar with vein disease is podiatry. A podiatrist is a physician or surgeon who treats the foot, ankle, and other parts of the leg.

Because podiatrists already observe and treat the feet and legs, they can also refer individuals to us for further consultation and treatment. That means if you talk to them about your symptoms and they understand and recognize vein disease, you can then come to us directly for an ultrasound and to determine the next steps for treatment.

Signs that vein disease may have progressed include if you have ulcers on your legs that aren’t healing or reappear. Doctors will sometimes close or repair these ulcers and then they come back, which could be a sign of venous hypertension/insufficiency. That means the valves that help blood flow through the legs aren’t functioning properly.

Progressive vein disease also could look like darker clusters of varicose or spider veins along the inside of the ankles with associated symptoms of itching or burning, or if the skin feels leathery.

Here’s what we strive to do when educating podiatrists and other physicians (as well as patients):

  • Identify the symptoms of varicose veins.
  • Recognize the progression of vein disease, which will worsen over time if left untreated.
  • Explain that minimally invasive treatment is available and effective (long-gone are the days of painful vein-stripping procedures you may have heard about from your mother or grandmother).
  • Make an appropriate referral to a board-certified vein expert like Rimas Gilvydis at Gilvydis Vein Clinic.

As a reminder, you can reach out to us anytime for more information about vein disease and to request a screening. Don’t hesitate to also ask your existing health care team – a nurse, family doctor or podiatrist – about varicose veins and be honest and open about your symptoms.

Do You Know Skin Conditions can be Linked to Varicose Veins?

When most people think about varicose veins, they picture bulging purple or blue veins in their legs. In addition to being unsightly, they also cause pain, burning, cramping, swelling, and a heavy, achy feeling. But did you know vein disease can also affect your skin?

Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when your veins have difficulty sending blood from your limbs back to your heart. As a result, blood collects in the legs and ankles, leading to inflammation, swelling, and skin changes. Read on for some examples of skin conditions that can be related to varicose veins.

Venous Eczema (also known as stasis dermatitis): An inflammatory skin disease occurring on the lower legs because of fluid buildup, this condition typically affects the ankles and shins, causing them to become red or brown as fluid accumulates in the tissues. The skin may become thick, itchy, flaky, ulcerated, discolored or prone to bleeding. Left untreated, it can lead to skin infections and chronic leg ulcers.

Psoriasis: Most people don’t think of vein issues and psoriasis in the same sentence, but a study by the National Institutes of Health found a link between psoriasis and blood vessel inflammation. A chronic skin disease, psoriasis is characterized by red, flaky patches on the skin, primarily the elbows, knees, scalp, face, lower back, palms and soles of feet.

Venous Ulcers: It may begin with a simple discoloration on the inside of the leg just above the ankle – a simple bruise or broken skin, possibly accompanied by pain, itching or swelling. For most people, the problem clears up within a couple weeks, but when someone suffers from vein disease, the wound often never heals. It may increase in size, becoming a painful, raw, shallow wound that produces a foul-smelling discharge. A secondary condition associated with venous ulcers is contact allergic eczema, which is caused by medications applied to the skin, such as steroids, topical antibiotics, and lanolin, along with preservatives present in various preparations.

Treating your chronic venous insufficiency through noninvasive procedures like endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) or sclerotherapy will not only eliminate your gnarled, twisted leg veins, but will help heal these skin conditions and prevent them from coming back. Contact us today for a free screening and get back to loving your skin.

Exercise While Working from Home

Staying active is important for your entire body. It uplifts your emotions, boosts your immune response, and helps prevent health problems such as deep vein thrombosis. Now that many jobs involve remote work from home, it’s easy to forget about moving around throughout the day or exercising. Fortunately, getting the exercise your body needs isn’t difficult — it’s possible even with a busy schedule.

The New Norm is Working from Home

For many Americans, working from home is currently the rule rather than the exception. The good news is that, far from being an obstacle to staying fit, remote work from home can make it easier to exercise. You’re surrounded by comfort and carpet, possibly even with an elliptical machine.

Your goal should be to work out briefly but often, every day if possible. You don’t have to overcomplicate things; a leg workout can be as simple as dancing to your favorite songs for 5–10 minutes.

How to Keep Legs from Swelling

Many people believe that it is not safe for people with varicose veins to exercise. Low-impact activities, such as walking and stretching, are perfectly safe. You can use compression stockings for extra support if needed. Exercising is a great way to keep your legs healthy as it:

  • Improves blood circulation
  • Strengthens leg muscles
  • Reduces discomfort
  • Releases pain-relieving endorphins

These effects are especially positive for someone with chronic venous insufficiency, spider veins, or varicose veins. By strengthening leg muscles, you make it easier for them to push blood to the heart instead of letting it flow backward.

Exercise at Your Desk

Staying fit while spending time at home doesn’t need to be complicated. There are many leg exercises you can do from your desk. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Foot rocking:

    • This simple sitting-down exercise involves rocking your feet from heel to toe. First, lift your heel into the air, then lower it and raise your toes. Repeat several times for each foot.
  • Leg lifts:

    • Lay down on the carpet with your legs straight in front of you. Slowly lift one leg into the air as high as possible, holding it there for two or three seconds. Repeat this with the other leg.
  • Toe stretches:

    • Stand up with legs straight. Gently lift yourself up on your tiptoes and slowly lower yourself back down.
  • Lunges:

    • Step one leg forward with your hands on your hips. Slowly lower your body until your back knee barely touches the ground. Then stand up again. Repeat this exercise 10 times, alternating legs.

Even if you can only set aside five minutes for a leg workout, your body will love you for it. Plus, you’ll probably notice better concentration, less stress, and more energy as a result.

Stay Active

How can you remember to exercise while managing a busy work schedule? One excellent tip is to set an alarm on your mobile device. Leg exercises and stretches can help fight mental blocks anyway, so it’s a good time investment.

Watch Your Diet

Resist the temptation to raid the cookie jar now that you’re working from home. Sugary treats eventually cause an energy crash that makes it harder to motivate yourself. When your brain tells you to reach for a snack, grab nuts, dried fruit, jerky, apples, Greek yogurt or peanut butter instead. These high-protein, healthy foods are great for your energy levels and mental focus.

Don’t Forget to Drink Water

Did you know that sugar cravings are often caused by dehydration? When you feel the urge to open a can of soda, what your body probably needs is water instead. Water is essential for energy production, and consuming eight glasses a day helps your brain, muscles and mood. Replenishing water and electrolytes can even make leg cramps disappear.  

Need other recommendations for keeping your legs in tip-top shape? Contact our vein health professionals at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic for helpful tips. You can also reach us by calling (779) 696-8346.

 

Image Credit: Shutterstock/ Syda Productions