Tight boots and leggings…it’s called ‘this disease’ in winter.
During the winter season, there are many factors that can increase the risk of developing varicose veins, requiring special caution. Long boots and fleece leggings, popular winter fashion items, can trigger varicose veins, so it’s best to avoid them if possible.
Varicose veins are vascular diseases that occur when there are abnormalities in the valves of the leg veins. There are about 60 valves in the leg veins. These valves help the blood that has descended into the legs to flow back up towards the heart without backflow. If there is a problem with the valve, it cannot prevent the backflow of blood, causing blood to pool, triggering vein dilation, and causing problems with blood circulation.
If left untreated, the veins in the calf area become bumpy and protruding as if worms are crawling, and even a little walking can cause leg pain, swelling, cramps, and easy fatigue. It can cause skin pigmentation, dermatitis, vasculitis, bleeding, and in severe cases, skin ulcers. It can cause indigestion and constipation and can interfere with hormone metabolism in women, exacerbating menstrual irregularities and menstrual pain, so early diagnosis and treatment are important.
Leggings and boots worn for warmth and fashion compress the legs, obstructing the flow of blood and body fluids, which is not good for leg health. Also, if you use heating devices strongly in suddenly cold weather, the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors increases, causing the blood vessels to contract and relax repeatedly, reducing elasticity and increasing the risk of varicose veins. Women, in particular, need to be extra careful as their leg muscles are weaker than men’s.
The treatment for varicose veins varies depending on the severity of the symptoms. In the early stages, you can see treatment effects through appropriate exercise, rest, and wearing compression stockings. If the symptoms are severe, removing the great saphenous vein, which has lost its function due to reflux, can help, and depending on the patient’s vascular condition, various methods such as high ligation and stripping, local vascular excision, laser surgery, and sclerotherapy can be performed. Recently, with the advancement of treatment methods, you can return to daily life right after surgery, and there are hardly any scars left.
Professor Jeon Heung-man of the Department of Transplantation and Vascular Surgery at Korea University Anam Hospital said, “Many people mistakenly think that varicose veins can be cured with a simple surgery. However, if not properly treated, it can even lead to deep vein thrombosis,” and “As people age and stand for long periods, almost everyone experiences varicose veins and the symptoms of venous insufficiency that cause them to some degree. If these symptoms are present, they should consult with a specialist and undergo a combination of compression, exercise, medication, and surgery.”
Professor Jeon also advised, “To prevent varicose veins, shoes that allow easy ankle movement are better than boots that tightly grip up to the knee, and it’s most important to get into the habit of moving your legs often,” and “Even when sitting, avoid crossing your legs and it helps to massage your legs from the ankle to the knee before going to bed.”
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