If you have varicose or spider veins, you’ve probably forgone an outfit or two to avoid putting them on display. The red, blue, and purple squiggles just under the surface of your skin are often irritating for cosmetic reasons, even if you don’t suffer any of the physical symptoms that come along with them. In an effort to avoid vein surgery, Miami residents sometimes try to cover up or disguise their varicose and spider veins. While it’s perfectly understandable that you don’t want to show them off to the world, the very thing many people are now doing to conceal them could well lead to worsening symptoms and the appearance of more splotches.
There’s a New Fashion Trend You Should Not Follow if You Have Venous Insufficiency
A recent news story highlighted a business that sold footless socks, designed to conceal varicose and spider veins. They work like leg warmers, stretching from the ankle to the knee, and come in fun patterns that coordinate with outfits, or can even make a bold fashion statement. On the one hand, they’re probably great for self-confidence, which is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, the socks can actually allow the problem to become worse, eventually necessitating leg vein treatments.
Spider and Varicose Veins are a Sign that Your Body Needs Help
Spider and varicose veins appear when blood is able to pool in a vein, causing it to become distended and unsightly. The spots don’t always require treatment, but sometimes they are a symptom of a serious condition, and other times they present with symptoms like tired, itchy, heavy, or burning legs. These are all good reasons to have them checked out by a vascular physician, and possibly seek treatment to correct the underlying issue. The problem is, if you simply cover them up, you’re not improving the blood flow at all, which means your symptoms can worsen, and new spots may continue to appear.
Do Not Confuse Footless Socks with Compression Socks
The footless socks highlighted in the news story are designed for looks, and are of no medical benefit. There are compression socks available, which apply graduated pressure, starting at the toes, to improve blood flow. They work as a fantastic preventative measure, reducing the likelihood that new spots will appear, and lessening the symptoms of existing spider or varicose veins. As with the fashion socks, they come in various styles and colors, whether you’re dressing for business or a casual day. Full-length compression stockings are your best bet, and they will conceal the spots if you’re self-conscious. There are also footless compression stockings available, though they’re generally believed to be less effective, and many patients report foot swelling after wearing them.
You deserve to feel good about yourself, and it’s understandable that you’d want to cover up your varicose or spider veins, but be careful about how you do it. Full-foot compression stockings are your best bet, though you should have an exam from a vascular physician to rule out more serious conditions. You may also find out that you’re a candidate for non-invasive leg vein treatments, like laser or sclerotherapy, so you won’t have to worry about finding ways to cover them up anymore.