Do you notice that the veins in your feet swell? It may or may not be due to varicose veins. Learn how to tell the difference below!
If you see bulging blue or purple veins twisting along your feet, you might assume they are varicose veins. While there is a chance varicose veins are to blame, vein disease may not be the only reason for those swollen veins on your feet.
While bulging veins are a definite sign of varicose veins, veins may enlarge and appear more prominent on the feet due to several causes. So let’s explore why the veins on your feet protrude and whether treatment is needed.
Why do veins on the feet swell?
It all comes down to gravity! Tiny valves in the leg veins open and close tight to push blood to the heart. Since your feet are at the bottom of your legs, the veins in the feet face the most pressure from downward gravity. This increased pressure in the veins wears down the valves, eventually causing them to lose strength. As the valves weaken, blood flows backward and pools within the vein. Pressure builds, and a varicose vein pops up from under the skin.
Persistent swelling in the feet is an early indication of vein disease that could eventually reuslt in varicose veins. If the swelling doesn’t go down, you could risk developing varicose veins in the future. Aside from the noticeable swelling, varicose veins are often accompanied by pain, cramping, itching, and an overall feeling of heaviness in the legs. If you experience these symptoms, it’s a good idea to get a diagnosis from a vein specialist.
But note that veins in the feet can swell for other reasons. The skin on your feet may be thinner and more translucent because there is less fat and collagen to hide the veins. Therefore, the blue and purple veins may appear more visible when they increase in size.
Another factor could be related to your job. Your veins need the help of your calf muscles to pump blood to the heart. When you sit at a desk all day or stand for long periods, the veins don’t get that extra support, allowing blood to pool. If you’ve ever wondered why your feet and veins look swollen at night, consider moving around more during the day!
How to reduce swelling in your feet
A vein specialist at Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) can diagnose and treat your varicose veins. Using ultrasound, our physicians can look inside your veins to determine if the vein valves are functioning correctly. While we offer several minimally invasive procedures that can eliminate bulging veins, you can also try some home remedies to reduce the swelling on your own:
Wear compression stockings. These highly elastic stockings provide gentle compression to help push blood through the veins. Compression stockings are available in drugstores or by prescription and should be worn if you stand or sit for long periods.
Elevate your legs. Do your feet feel swollen and tired after a long day at work? Prop your feet on a pillow above your heart to drain blood from the veins. Watch the swelling go down. Your feet will feel much better too!
Stay active. Walking daily for at least 30 minutes gets the blood pumping in the veins. Calf raises and lunges help, too. You can also rev up your circulation by simply flexing your ankles at your desk.
Choose comfortable shoes. High heels and wedges restrict blood flow in the veins in the feet. Wear them sparingly to prevent swelling. Instead, choose comfy flats that help work the calf muscles when you walk.
Let us treat your veins
Center for Vein Restoration specializes in treating varicose veins and other vascular disorders. Offering the latest diagnostic technology, we can recommend a therapy plan based on your individual needs. Our in-office treatments can relieve the pain and swelling of varicose veins and immediately get you back to your normal routine with few restrictions.
Contact one of our offices today, or call 1-800-FIX-LEGS (1-800-349-5347) to schedule an appointment.