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LEWIS E. SELLERS, M.D. Vein and Vascular Care Get Better Looking & Better Feeling Legs

STEP 1: Compression

 

 

For people whose leg ulcer has healed, or for people with chronic venous insufficiency who want to prevent the development of an ulcer, the health care professional will prescribe Graduated Compression Hose or Stockings.

 

The external graduated compression of the garment acts as a layer of muscle by gently squeezing the stretched vein walls together, allowing the valves to close and function properly. The cavity of the vein is reduced, thereby restoring blood flow to a normal state up the leg and aiding overall circulation.

 

We instruct most people to put on their graduated compression hose first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. Morning is best time of day to put them on as your legs will be less swollen after a night's rest. Wear your hose during the day. The stocking should fit like a snug sleeve, not like a clamp. Remove creases and wrinkles. Take off the hose at bed time.

 

Compression helps the valves in the veins to close better. This increases blood flow up the leg to the heart, and decreases the pressure in the veins that causes so many leg problems.

 

 

STEP 2: Walking and Calf Pump Exercises

 

The second daily activity is walking and other simple calf pump exercises. Walking and calf pump exercises help lower pressure in the veins. People who are unable to take walks or who must sit continuously can do ankle exercises (similar to the motion your foot takes when it presses on a car's gas pedal) 10 times every hour instead of walking. People who must stand for long hours can do heel lift exercises or walk in place.

 

STEP 3. Elevation

 

Another great way to get relief from the swelling and pain of venous insufficiency, the cause of varicose veins, spider veins, ulcers, & tired achy fatigued legs, is to elevate your feet. Every two or three hours raise your feet above your heart for about twenty minutes. At night a few strategically placed books under your mattress or pillows on top of the bed can provide elevation while you sleep. Many patients prefer to use a wedge shaped pillow.

 

STEP 4. Follow these Healthy Leg Tips

 

Tips for Healtheir Legs #1: Avoid High Heels

If you have any kind of vein disease, but especially varicose veins or leg ulcers, wear comfortable shoes that don't rub your ankles or cause blisters on your feet. And I encourage you to only wear high heels for short periods of time, like to social occasions or events.

 

Tips for Healthier Legs #2: Be Extra Careful to Avoid Injury

Be careful to avoid bumps and scratches that can turn into leg ulcers! When you have vein disease, the chronic high pressure pushing out against the fragile vein walls can eventually stretch the walls thin. This is permanent damage. The skin becomes weak and is now vulnerable to minor bumps and cuts that could snowball into a serious leg ulcer.

 

Tips for Healthier Legs #3: Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintain or work diligently toward a healthy weight, because extra pounds strain the leg veins! Obese CVI (Chronic Venous Insufficiency) patients are often more difficult to treat and may have a higher risk of the disease recurring. This may be due to higher abdominal pressure from obesity interfering with the rising flow of the blood through the leg veins.

 

Tips for Healthier Legs #4: Maintain Good Nutrition

 

More and more research shows that nutrition plays a huge role in our health. This helps in weight control while protein & vitamins, and phyto-nutrients promote healing--so this is especially important for those with leg wounds (ulcers)!

 

Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and foods high in fiber. Cut back on sugars, colas, alcohol and junk food.

 

 

 

 

Tips for Healthier Legs #5: Keep Your Skin Clean

 At night, when stockings are removed, wash your feet and legs in mild soap and lukewarm water. Don't use hot water, since it will make the veins larger. Dry carefully especially between the toes! If you use a brush, make sure the bristles are soft and will not scratch your skin.

 

Tips for Healthier Legs #6: Moisturize your Legs & Feet

 

Dry skin breaks down more easily than moisturized skin. So apply a good moisturizer daily. Do not apply directly on a wound (i.e. a venous leg ulcer).

 

Avoid products that contain fragrances, alcohol, or lanolin. A good option is Hypoallergenic Sigvaris Skin & Foot Cream. Another option that is not a lotion, but a spray is Epizyn Spray. It  can be sprayed in an ulcer and on the surrounding tissue 2-3 times a day. It has been reported to promote healing of the wound and relieve itching.

 

For more tips and products for caring for your legs to slow down disease progression and fight vein disease visit the Conservative Care Resource Center Page.

 

 

 

 

This sample self-care plan may be altered or tailored to fit your needs by your health care provider, but should give you the basic idea of the kind of plan ulcer patients are asked to commit to on a daily basis.

Conservative Care Resource Center
Ulcer CARE
SURVEY Vein Disease

Connect with Dr. Sellers

 

 

Free Handout Link

 

 

8 Warning Signs & Symptoms of Vein Disease
McClellan Medical Mall & Meeting Center

256- 237-1624 Office or 256-770-2230 Cell • doctor@lewisesellersmd.com

171 Town Center Drive, Anniston, Alabama 36205 Lewis E. Sellers MD

Content on this website is not considered medical advice. Please see a physician before making any medical or lifestyle changes.

Recommended Links

 

 

Connect with Dr. Sellers

 

 

Free Handout Link

 

 

8 Warning Signs & Symptoms of Vein Disease
McClellan Medical Mall & Meeting Center

256- 237-1624 Office or 256-770-2230 Cell • doctor@lewisesellersmd.com

171 Town Center Drive, Anniston, Alabama 36205 Lewis E. Sellers MD

Content on this website is not considered medical advice. Please see a physician before making any medical or lifestyle changes.

Recommended Links

 

 

Conservative Care Resource Center
Ulcer CARE
SURVEY Vein Disease