What is varicose veins? These are veins with weakened walls, which cause them to bulge above our skin surface. And this damage to the wall affects the vein's job of returning blood circulation to our heart. Varicose veins can cause itching, pains, and sometimes eczema and ulcers.
According to Dr Ken Myers, a Melbourne vein expert, crossing legs does not affect the risks of varicose veins or even spider veins (smaller veins). It does not make the varicose veins any worse either.
A study was conducted to look at the risk factors for varicose veins conditions, and none points to crossing legs.
One of the causes of varicose veins is genetics. But many other causes remains unknown yet. An increased pressure in veins is not a cause, according to this study. The study also dismiss the previous beliefs that varicose veins was caused by the backwards pressure of blood in the veins, blowing them up like a balloon. The study concluded that when the damage to the veins is already done, then the back pressure can become a factor, thus is not the initial cause of varicose veins.
Below is the list of myths that was believed to worsen varicose veins:
- Crossing legs, as the pressure in veins is minimal, thus this habit does not worsen the existing condition
- Having high blood pressure
- Wearing heels
The known factors to cause varicose veins condition to worsen is:
- Standing for long period, as it increases pressure on veins and worsen the condition slightly
- Pregnancy, probably due to hormonal changes
- Obesity, no known reason why this worsen the condition
Treatment for varicose veins involving closing off the affected veins by removing and/or letting it absorbed by the body. This can be done by means of surgical or non-surgical. This procedure does not harm circulation because other veins can take over the job of veins that no longer carry blood. But this does not guarantee that other veins will not be affected by varicose veins.
What you can do in the meantime is to wear support stockings, as this reduces swelling nd discomfort. Especially for my preggar friends, do wear support stockings (as your gynae might have suggested to you already)!