The most conservative way to manage varicose vein disease is wearing prescription-strength compression stockings (usually pantyhose, but sometimes knee high or thigh high length hose are needed).  Compression stockings help alleviate the swelling and pain caused by varicose veins.  These stockings will also help heal any skin inflammation or ulcerations which have developed.  However, there has never been any evidence to show that compression stockings prevent the formation of varicose veins.  Since the diseased veins that are causing the symptoms are not being eliminated, the compression stockings have to be worn indefinitely.  Most insurance companies are now requiring patients to wear prescription strength compression stockings for 3-6 months before they will consider reimbursement for treatment.