Advice From Your Legs 

In addition to your genetics, fluctuations in hormones, high-heeled shoes, age, occupation, heat, and obesity can all add up to painful spider and varicose veins.  Here's what you can do - and not do - to improve the condition of your veins. 

  1. DO keep those legs moving.  Walking, cycling and swimming all help keep blood circulating in your legs to reduce pressure and blood pooling.  Even a few steps whenever possible will make a big difference. 

  2. DON'T subject your legs to excessive heat.  Everyone enjoys relaxing in a hot sauna or sitting in front of a fireplace on a cold day, but it's important to keep it to a minimum.  The heat associated with baths, hot tubs, fireplaces and electric blankets will actually increase vein swelling and lead to blood pooling. 

  3. DO listen to your body.  While many people think of varicose and spider veins as a cosmetic concern, they can also lead to serious health complications such as:  fatigue, night cramps, leg swelling and itching.  If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, contact the Iowa Vein Center today for further assistance. 

  4. DON'T sit or stand for long periods of time.  This places increased pressure on your veins.  Keep your legs moving.  Changing position every 30 minutes helps blood flow and keeps veins healthy.  Flexing calf muscles frequently at your desk, on long car or plane trips also helps.  

  5. DO maintain a healthy weight:  Reducing body weight can help you prevent or better manage varicose or spider veins.  Sustaining a healthy weight minimizes the excess pressure on your legs that can cause veins to surface and bulge. 

  6. DON'T assume all treatments will work for you we offer a variety of treatment options, including lasers, surgery and injections.  Depending on the type and severity of vein damage, our specialists will determine the best treatment options(s) for you. 

  7. DO wear compression stockings to alleviate pressure to the veins.  While support hose ensures that pressure is evenly distributed on legs, it is important to watch out for pressure from restrictive clothing that might actually trap blood and cause clots.  Clothing around specific body parts include your waist, legs and the groin area can restrict circulation and lead to spider and varicose veins. 

  8. DON'T fall for bogus advertisements.  When seeking options for vein treatment, be cautious!  Advertisements that promise "unique", "permanent" or "painless" solutions can be tempting, but may not be legitimate.  Be sure you get the opinion of the Iowa Vein Center; after all, we've treated more than 30,000 legs in Des Moines. 

  9. DO see your doctor or the Iowa Vein Center if your legs hurt, ache, feel heavy, itch or have cramps.  This is not normal for legs.  Also see us if you notice color changes - such as brown, purple, etc. in your lower legs, ankles or feet.  These color changes are usually due to some sort of venous or arterial problem.  The longer these problems have been present, the harder it will be to resolve them. 

  10. DON'T take a hot steaming both or shower in the morning.  This will dilate your leg veins as your day begins, making for a longer day, with increased leg discomfort.  A short, lukewarm shower is much better for your legs.