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Varicose and other vein problems - self-care

Venous insufficiency - self-care; Venous stasis ulcers - self-care; Lipodermatosclerosis - self-care

Description

Blood flows slowly from the veins in your legs back to your heart. Due to gravity, blood tends to pool in your legs, primarily when you stand. As a result, you may have:

These problems may get worse over time. Learn self-care that you can do at home to:

Wear Compression Stockings

Compression stockings help with swelling in your legs. They gently squeeze your legs to move blood up your legs.

Your health care provider will help you find where to buy these and how to use them.

Make Time to Exercise

Do gentle exercises to build muscle and to move blood up your legs. Here are some suggestions:

Put Your Feet up

Raising your legs helps with pain and swelling. You can:

Do not sit or stand for long periods of time. When you do sit or stand, bend and straighten your legs every few minutes to keep the blood in your legs moving back to your heart.

Take Care of Your Skin

Keeping your skin well moisturized helps it stay healthy. Talk with your provider before using any lotions, creams, or antibiotic ointments. Because of possible side effects, do not use:

Watch for skin sores on your leg, mainly around your ankle. Take care of sores right away to prevent infection.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if:

References

Hafner A, Sprecher E. Ulcers. In: Bolognia JL, Schaffer JV, Cerroni L, eds. Dermatology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 105.

Murray MT, Nowicki J. Varicose veins. In: Pizzorno JE, Murray MT, eds. Textbook of Natural Medicine. 5th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2021:chap 225.

Pascarella L, Shortell CK. Chronic venous disorders: nonoperative management. In: Sidawy AN, Perler BA, eds. Rutherford's Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 157.

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Review Date: 10/18/2020  

Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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