Another popular method of dealing with varicose veins at home is using varicose vein creams. These products claim to be able to reduce the appearance and unpleasant symptoms of varicose veins and often contain extracts of horse chestnut (which is also recommended as a dietary supplement for the treatment of the condition), calendula, gingko biloba, rosehip oil and arnica, all of which are believed to improve the skin and support skin cell and capillary renewal.
One aspect of these creams that has definitely been proven to work is in maintaining external skin health. In certain circumstances, anecdotal evidence suggests that the application of a varicose vein can significantly help arrest the development of venous eczema and alleviate the dry skin problems that can result from wearing compression stockings all day, every day.
That said, without a proper study comparing varicose creams with normal moisturising creams, the positive reports may have little or nothing to do with the inclusion of the active ingredients. The massaging effect of applying the cream will also have a positive effect on the circulation so any perceived positive results may also be down to this.
As with the other dietary supplements and holistic therapies that are suggested as remedies for varicose veins, results are often dependent on what works best for you personally as the presence or absence of curative effects can differ wildly from person to person.
Also one of the downsides of using a cream to treat any condition is that any positive effects that the product is having may not become visible for a significant period of time, so in effect, you have to be willing to stick with the treatment with a significant amount of time to determine whether it has worked or not.
One of the ingredients that feature in varicose vein creams on a regular basis is Arnica. This plant has been clinically proven to be an effective vasodilator of the capillaries under the skin and is most commonly used to speed the healing of bruises and strains. It is often used in preparations used by professional athletes in liniments and ointments. Arnica works by improving the circulation and aiding the healing process by dilating the capillaries which means that fluid and damaged cells are carried away from the affected area. This herb also has an anti-inflammatory action.
Horse Chestnut extract is also an ingredient that we see regularly in varicose vein creams sometimes in combination with witch hazel. Horse Chestnut has been thoroughly researched and blind trials have concluded that this ingredient works very effectively to reduce the leg pain associated with varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency as it seems to block the enzymes that cause the venous walls to break down.
It is best to stick to medical manufactured versions of horse chestnut as the manufacturing process removes the compound in Horse Chestnut that is toxic, and it should also be noted that people with kidney or liver disease, or are medications that thin the blood like Aspirin and Wafarin should not take horse chestnut without strict medical supervision.