Can we talk about varicose veins? I know a good number of you are in my demographic — we’ll call ourselves mature fashionistas. Those varicose veins start to become more of a thing as we age. Like wrinkles.
A while back, I shared some strategies for covering varicose veins. Boy, did you all love that post. I revisited it recently for updating and decided I had more to share on the topic. Or, more accurately, that topic wasn’t broad enough.
Of course, many women want to know about covering their bulgy veins — but what about managing them? Are there DIY strategies for managing varicose veins?
DIY or medical treatment for varicose veins?
Yes, there are DIY varicose vein remedies. Before you embark on those, however, you should consider whether medical treatment from a vascular specialist is more appropriate.
Dr. Rosmy Barrios, MD, a medical advisor for Health Reporter, recommends consulting a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Pain, swelling, fatigue, burning, heat, redness, or heaviness in the legs
- Enlarged veins and subcutaneous nodes
- Difficult-to-heal and bleeding wounds on your legs
- A painful lump near the enlarged vein. In this case, seek medical attention as soon as possible
- You have a family history of venous varicose veins in your family
If your varicose veins mostly bother you from a cosmetic standpoint, then DIY efforts are probably appropriate — for now.
5 DIY beauty routines for varicose veins
The five strategies below can help you manage the cosmetic aspects of varicose veins.
Start a moisturizing ritual for your legs. The first step is choosing a rich cream with powerhouse ingredients like aloe and vitamin E. It helps if the cream feels luxurious and carries a scent you love. Those aren’t just indulgences. If you enjoy applying the cream, you’re more likely to use it regularly.
The way you apply a moisturizer is important, too. Dr. Barrios recommends gentle strokes upwards, towards your heart. You can also use a massage oil vs. moisturizer if that feels more comfortable. The key, Dr. Barrios says, is to avoid direct pressure on the veins. This will limit damage to surrounding tissues.
According to Florida’s Foot Ankle & Leg Vein Center, herbal supplements can help you manage the swelling associated with your varicose veins. Three ingredients that show promise are butcher’s bloom, St. John’s wort, and rosemary.
Do check with your physician before selecting a supplement, though. You’ll want to ensure there are no conflicts with medications you’re already taking.
4. Dress to impress
The way you dress can also alleviate discomfort and improve the appearance of varicose veins. Avoid heavy, scruffy materials that will rub on your skin. Instead, lean into soft, flowing fabrics — palazzo pants and maxi dresses and skirts, for example.
You might also like soft and snug leg wear, like compression socks, tights, and bold accessories.
Compression socks. Compression socks can wear easily underneath your lightweight, loose-fitting pants and skirts. Bombas and Crazy Compression are two brands producing fun, youthful compression sock designs.
Tights. Tights are another chic strategy. Black tights underneath a midi skirt with ankle boots or loafers is an edgy look that always turns heads.
Bold accessories. The number one rule of dressing for your body type is to use bold design features to draw the eye away from less desirable areas. If the look of your varicose veins really bothers you — but you love to wear shorts — use this rule to bear your legs confidently.
Try wearing bright neck scarves or statement necklaces. Those accessories will attract attention to your neck and face, rather than your legs.
Lastly, there is makeup that can effectively cover varicose veins. I’d reserve this tactic for special occasions as the application may be tedious.
Managing varicose veins
Varicose veins don’t sentence you to a life without shorts. You can manage the appearance of enlarged veins and their symptoms with a few self-care routines, proper nutrition, fashion strategies, and the occasional cosmetic cover-up. If these efforts don’t seem like enough or you’re feel discomfort, see your doctor for other options.