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For many people, varicose or spider veins line their legs, making them feel they are unable to wear shorts or skirts. These irregular veins can be damaging to your self-esteem and come with painful physical symptoms as well. Compression socks may not be your first fashion choice but they offer major relief from the symptoms of varicose and spider veins.

How Compression Socks Reduce The Symptoms Of Varicose And Spider Veins

What is the difference between spider veins and varicose veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that often appear to be bulging out of a person’s legs. They can be green, blue or red and are usually about 3 mm or larger. Varicose veins are more than a cosmetic issue as they can cause fatigue, swelling, burning, itching and even cramps in the legs. Spider veins appear closer to the skin’s surface and are smaller than varicose veins (about 1 mm). They are generally blue, red or purple in colour.

What causes these types of veins to appear?

Our veins carry blood from our the body back to the heart. The blood then flows backwards through the body against gravity and repeats the cycle. When the valves in our veins that keep the blood flowing weaken, the blood collects in the area and leads to a condition called venous insufficiency. With nowhere to go, the backed up blood enlarges the veins turning them varicose. Spider veins are caused by a backup of blood in the area like with varicose veins, hormone changes (pregnancy), sun exposure and leg injuries. Varicose veins can become worse if not treated. This is where compression socks come into play.

How do compression socks work?

Compression socks are designed to stimulate blood flow from the feet towards the heart. They can reduce the symptoms of varicose and spider veins by eliminating the backup of blood that has collected in the area where the veins are damaged. These socks need to be medical grade in order to work. Compression socks you get at the drugstore are not as effective because they are not be properly fitted and are created in a one-size-fits-all manner. Medical grade compression socks are made to be stronger in the foot, with pressure gradually diminishing as they extend up the calf and thigh. Moreover, compression socks help stave off blood clots that lead to other venous diseases, like deep vein thrombosis and superficial thrombophlebitis.

If you notice varicose or spider veins, contact your doctor.

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