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Mom Was a Liar

Don’t cross your eyes or they’ll stay that way.

If you eat a watermelon seed a watermelon will grow in your stomach. 

Crossing your legs too much when you sit will lead to varicose veins.

Believe it or not, all of these are false. These old wive’s tales or simply parenting tools have been fooling children for decades — maybe more. But that last one might surprise you, since people still believe it to be true. 

What are Varicose Veins?

Veins anywhere in the body can become varicose, but the legs are the most commonly affected area. Varicose veinsare swollen, bulging, abnormally enlarged veins that protrude from the surface of the skin. They’re typically blue or dark purple and have a twisted, rope or cord-like appearance. They form when veins that are meant to carry blood towards the heart weaken and leak in the wrong direction. Blood then pools in the veins, causing them to enlarge and form varicose veins. Spider veins are a version of varicose veins but are more cosmetic in appearance and show up as web-like veins on the surface. 

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Why Does This Happen? 

There are several factors that cause varicose veins but crossing your legs isn’t one of them! It can be attributed to the increased pressure exerted on these veins from sustained walking, standing, and many other factors. For many people, varicose veins simply run in the family. For others, age, weight gain (even due to pregnancy), can bring on varicose veins. And lastly lack of activity. Remember, varicose veins don’t just happen in women. They can be found in men as well. 

Starting a Movement

We know by now that movement is good for our health and our circulation because it brings more oxygen into our blood and aids in blood flow to and from the heart. So while leg crossing doesn’t cause varicose veins, it can exacerbate them if you already have varicose veins because the extra pressure on your legs can limit vital blood flow to your calves. Keeping both of your feet on the floor when sitting, can help to alleviate any pain and pressure you might feel, as well as making sure to get up and stand or walk around often. And while you can’t undo varicose veins that have already formed, you can help prevent others and manage your venous pain by helping to keep your blood circulating. 

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It’s Not Just Cosmetic

And while the cosmetic side of varicose veins is often the part we hear about the most, for many people varicose veins can become painful, even debilitating, and affect their overall health. If your varicose veins become uncomfortable, it’s always best to contact a specialist who can talk to you about what’s best for your health and wellbeing. Find a Metro Vein Center near you and schedule a free consultation today.