Varicose Veins in Feet: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Varicose Veins in Feet Living with varicose veins in your feet can damage your self-confidence and limit your choices in shoes. Many people feel varicose veins in their feet are unsightly and end up wearing socks all of the time or avoiding sandals and other exposing shoes in public. To avoid varicose veins, you need to educate yourself on what causes them, how you can prevent them, and how to have them treated and removed if you’re already suffering from the condition.


Varicose veins form when blood in unable to move freely through your circulatory system. When blood does not circulate properly, blood valves must work harder to push blood through your system, and hard-working blood values will eventually fail. When blood values fail, they are no longer able to move blood through your veins, resulting in blood pooling in individual veins and appearing through the skin as varicose veins.

Some things that cause blood valves to fail in the feet and result in visible varicose veins include standing or sitting for long periods of time, wearing high heels, and obesity.


Standing or sitting for long periods of time are common causes of varicose veins, so alternating frequently between the two positions is important. If your job requires you to stand for several hours straight, make sure to sit during your breaks in order to ease the workload of your blood valves. If your job requires sitting for many hours straight, make sure to take frequent walking breaks in order to improve blood circulation.

Other common causes of varicose veins in the feet are obesity and frequent wearing of high heels. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent varicose veins caused by weight, and alternating between heels and flats can help prevent varicose veins forming as a result of frequent wearing of heels. High-heeled shoes limit blood circulation by inhibiting the natural movement of feet hitting the floor and helping push blood from the feet back into the calves.


If you’re already struggling with varicose veins in your feet, you don’t have to feel ashamed to show off your feet forever. Many treatment options are available for eliminating varicose veins in the feet and other places in the body.

Years ago, varicose vein treatment was relegated to vain stripping procedures which were highly invasive and traumatic, required significant recovery time, and oftentimes didn’t work. Today, vein stripping is rarely used and has been replaced by more effective and less invasive vein treatment procedures like sclerotherapy, endovenous laser treatment, and laser therapy. These procedures require little recovery time and are more likely to eliminate varicose veins and prevent recurrence.

To have the varicose veins in your feet evaluated to determine potential treatments, visit a phlebologist—a doctor specializing in treating venous disorder. To determine potential costs of treatment prior to visiting a doctor, use our cost calculator.

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