Too Young For Varicose Veins? What Are Your Treatment Options?

If the term "varicose veins" conjures up mental images of your grandmother's garish support hosiery, you're likely dismayed to discover the beginnings of bulging blue veins in your own legs, feet, or lower extremities, especially if you're nowhere close in age to becoming a grandmother yourself. Although they're often associated with advanced age, varicose veins can strike in just about any stage of life; and because they're often exacerbated by pregnancy, even teens and twenty-somethings who have recently had a child may notice these veins beginning to pop up. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options (other than support hose) that can help you minimize the appearance and recurrence of these veins. Read on to learn more about managing varicose veins at a young age.

Consider whether any lifestyle changes should occur

Many varicose veins are genetic in origin -- even those who eat healthily, exercise regularly, and avoid drinking to excess or smoking can wind up with them. However, other lifestyle factors can exacerbate varicose veins or cause them to recur, so controlling these factors as best you can before seeking additional treatment should go a long way toward preventing this issue in the future.

Varicose veins are caused by weaknesses in the vein structure that cause blood to pool – generally a malfunction of the valve designed to force blood out of the vein back toward your heart. To improve your veins' function, exercise is key – so for those at sedentary jobs, making a point to get up from your desk and walk around once an hour or so can make a difference in the development of your varicose veins. You'll also want to increase your water intake, and those with high blood pressure may want to investigate a low-sodium diet or even medication to reduce the amount of strain on your veins.

Investigate laser surgery

Even the term for traditional varicose vein surgery -- "vein stripping" -- can conjure up unpleasant mental images. Today's alternative, laser varicose vein treatment, is much less violent in name and in process, and simply involves closing off the affected veins with a laser. As blood dissipates from these veins into the rest of your body, they'll shrink until they become nearly invisible, eliminating the need for surgical removal of the entire vein. Your recovery time should be quick and relatively painless, and even the procedure itself should be able to be performed under local anesthesia.