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    How Can Varicose Veins Be Prevented?

    You can't prevent varicose veins from forming. However, you can prevent the ones you have from getting worse. You also can take steps to delay other varicose veins from forming.

    • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods without taking a break. When sitting, avoid crossing your legs. Raise your legs when sitting, resting, or sleeping. When you can, raise your legs above the level of your heart.

    • Do physical activities to get your legs moving and improve muscle tone. This helps blood move through your veins.

    • If you're overweight or obese, lose weight. This will improve blood flow and ease the pressure on your veins.

    • Avoid wearing tight clothes, especially those that are tight around your waist, groin (upper thighs), and legs. Tight clothes can make varicose veins worse.

    • Avoid wearing high heels for long periods. Lower heeled shoes can help tone your calf muscles. Toned muscles help blood move through the veins.

    • Wear compression stockings if your doctor advises you to. These stockings create gentle pressure up the leg. This pressure keeps blood from pooling in the veins and decreases swelling in the legs.

    *Information Source: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute