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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Prevention

You can help to prevent varicose veins by maintaining a normal weight and by avoiding situations where you must stand for prolonged periods. Even with these preventive measures, however, you still may develop varicose veins if this condition tends to run in your family.

If you already have varicose veins, you can prevent symptom flare-ups by periodically lying down or sitting down with your legs elevated above the level of your chest. Some physicians also recommend that you wear support stockings or more specialized compression stockings when you walk or stand for long periods of time. The stockings prevent blood from pooling in the veins, and prevent strain on the valves and leg swelling.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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