How Your Clothing Choices Impact Your Venous Health
If you suffer from varicose veins, the clothes you wear can have a direct and significant impact on the severity of your symptoms. Here’s what you should know.
You might know that compression garments can can provide people with varicose veins with much needed relief, but what about the rest of your clothes? Your wardrobe won’t give you varicose veins, but if you already have them, certain sartorial selections can worsen your symptoms by interfering with the body’s circulation. You won’t have to get a whole new ensemble, but here’s what you should wear as little as possible and what you should stock up on.
What to Avoid
While they may seem similar to compression stockings, tightly fitting clothes like garters, girdles, Spanx, tight elastic socks, and skinny jeans actually cause more harm than good to people with venous disorders. This is because they tend to restrict or cut off circulation in the lower extremities, where varicose veins most often develop. High heels can lead to circulatory problems, as well.
When circulation is poor — particularly in the legs — blood tends to collect in areas farther from the heart, since the veins struggle to pump blood back to it. The symptoms of varicose vein symptoms only worsen when this happens, as the accumulating blood places further pressure on the already swollen veins. This can lead to greater pain, aching and other negative sensations.
What to Wear
While there are some clothes to avoid, there are plenty of garments that people with varicose veins can wear without exacerbating their condition. Compression stockings, of course, are an ideal choice, since they relieve some symptoms of varicose veins by stimulating blood flow. Looser tights and leggings are also ideal attire. As for your feet, soft-sole, low-heel shoes are preferable, since blood flows more easily when your foot lies flat on the ground.
Even if you don’t have varicose veins, it might still be a good idea to prioritize loose-fitting, breathable clothing if you’re at a greater risk of developing them. People with a family history of varicose veins, smokers, people over 40, and obese people are among the populations most likely to develop varicose veins, and this likelihood is only greater for people with multiple risk factors.
When it’s hot out, it may not always be possible to wear supportive items like compression stockings. In warmer weather, try to keep the legs covered but not constricted in items like wide-legged pants or maxi skirts. For further comfort, choose breathable fabrics like linen. Spending too much time in the hot sun can also worsen varicose veins, so try your best to get as much shade as you can, and don’t forget your sunscreen.
Improving Vein Health
Wearing the right clothes can make your varicose veins feel better, but no outfit can permanently eliminate them. Fortunately, there are other lasting solutions to varicose veins such as vein ablation or sclerotherapy. If you’re looking to treat your varicose veins, schedule an appointment with a vein specialist today to discuss your condition and explore your options.