You’ve probably noticed that sometimes your socks may leave a reddish imprint on your ankles. If it happens just once or twice, it can be a sign that the elastic that keeps the socks from slipping down is too strong. But if your sock marks are common, it’s a signal your body is using to tell you something might be wrong.

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We  have done some research to find out what health issues sock marks can alert you to. And don’t forget to check out the additional tips on how to prevent sock imprints at the end of the article.

1. High blood pressure

If you’re experiencing a disturbing feeling of swollen legs, the reason may be excess fluid that’s building up in your lower legs. Usually, it’s not painful by itself, but wearing socks may feel uncomfortable. High blood pressure is caused by fluid retention and makes it hard for the heart to transport blood throughout the body. The body responds by holding onto fluid that usually settles in the legs and feet.

2. Varicose veins

When the veins in your legs become weakened, they can’t return blood to your heart quickly enough. Blood then backs up in your leg veins and leads to painful swelling. This condition is one of the contributing factors to varicose veins. If you’re getting sock marks regularly, your body might be trying to send you a signal that your veins don’t let blood flow back up to your heart.

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3. Dehydration

If your body doesn’t get enough water, it may damage your blood vessels. Damaged veins may begin to create small leaks that allow fluid to build up in the surrounding tissue. Common places for this fluid to be collected are around the ankles and feet. Sock marks that appear around your ankles may indicate that your body is dehydrated.

4. Side effects from medication

Certain medications can also cause lower leg swelling. Some kinds of antidepressants and blood pressure medications may lead to the unpleasant feeling of swollen feet. Certain types of contraception (especially birth control pills that contain estrogen) can change hormone levels in a woman’s body and cause water retention and leg swelling.

Bonus: what to do if you get sock marks regularly

If sock marks appear on your legs regularly, it’s best to consult a doctor. But you can improve the condition by following some simple recommendations that can ease the unpleasant feeling of swollen legs.

  • Reduce salt in your diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Wear compression socks and stockings.
  • Change positions frequently and avoid sitting and standing for long periods of time.
  • Wear comfortable shoes with low heels.

Have you ever noticed sock marks on your ankles or feet? Do you have any tips on how to prevent them?

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