6 Home Treatments for Varicose Veins

Ken Langworthy RVT

One thing’s for sure about varicose veins–they’re not pretty. But they are common. Varicose veins affect an estimated 25 to 30 percent of people. If you suffer from varicose veins, you’d probably like some at-home treatment options. These veins are large and twisted and may be close to the skin’s surface. They can also sometimes be dark-colored. Varicose veins can be painful and can cause itching, burning, and aching. They can also make you self-conscious about showing your legs in public.

There are many home treatments,  to make varicose veins less noticeable. Some methods are surgical, while there are other treatments you can do at home. Here are six of the best at-home treatments for varicose veins. The following remedies will only treat the symptoms. Your veins will not disappear completely without some type of non-invasive treatment such as EVLT or RFA.

1. Compression Stockings for Varicose Veins

According to the Mayo Clinic, compression stockings are the first at-home treatment you should try for varicose veins. Compression stockings are a type of sock that squeezes your legs as you wear them. Their goal is to improve the blood circulation in your legs, making your varicose veins less painful and noticeable. Your doctor may prescribe compression stockings, or you can purchase them online.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar for Varicose Veins

Apple cider vinegar has been used as a folk remedy for thousands of years. Its power lies in its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. A 2016 study researched the effects of apple cider vinegar on varicose veins. Twice a day for a month, study participants applied a piece of cotton soaked in apple cider vinegar to their legs, leaving the cloth on for 30 minutes. After a month, researchers found that participants experienced less pain and less social anxiety about the appearance of their varicose veins.

3. Horse Chestnut for Varicose Veins

The horse chestnut is a type of tree that grows in many parts of the world. The seeds of this tree can be made into an extract that is taken as a dietary supplement. Horse chestnut seed extract is anti-inflammatory and anti-edema. (An edema is when fluid accumulates in parts of the body). A 2015 review of the current research on horse chestnut supplements found them to be effective in reducing the pain and appearance of varicose veins. Researchers found that horse chestnut is as effective at treating varicose veins as compression therapy. Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking horse chestnut–or any–dietary supplement.

4. Exercise for Varicose Veins

You hear it all the time–exercise is right for you in so many ways. Add another benefit to that list–Strengthening your legs muscles can improve your circulation to help with varicose veins. Stronger muscles in the legs can help reduce the way your varicose veins look and feel. If you’re overweight, exercise can also help you shed pounds, which will take some of the pressure off of your veins. Low impact exercises such as walking and yoga are the best exercises for varicose veins.

5. Pine Bark Extract for Varicose Veins

Pine bark extract has been proven to be a powerful antioxidant and is often taken as a dietary supplement. One type of trademarked product made from pine bark extract is called Pycnogenol.  A 2006 study found that taking Pycnogenol daily for eight weeks improved blood flow and strengthened vein walls for study participants.

6. Butcher’s Broom for Varicose Veins

A review of natural treatments for varicose veins was published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. Among other natural remedies, the study mentioned butcher’s broom as a dietary supplement for varicose veins. Butcher’s broom comes from a shrub that grows in many regions. It is a potent anti-inflammatory. The recommended dosage of butcher’s broom is 30 to 50 milligrams taken three times per day.

Having varicose veins can make you feel self-conscious about the way your legs look. These large veins can also be painful and uncomfortable. Try these six at-home remedies to help make your varicose veins smaller and less noticeable.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Susanne Woloson on 5-01-2020.

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