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Summer Heat Increases Varicose Vein Risks

by Jane Meggitt

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about vein treatment, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

Summer is always a tough time of year for varicose vein sufferers. On hot days, or at the beach or pool, those with varicose veins have to decide whether to expose their gnarled, unsightly veins or cover them with clothing that may leave them feeling warmer. The problem with varicose veins and summer heat, however, goes far beyond aesthetic considerations. Veins that may not prove painful in cooler weather can hurt when it’s hot out.

Heat and Blood Vessels

Heat can cause blood vessel expansion, which exacerbates stress on the weak valves in varicose veins. That causes vein dilation, which leads to swelling in the legs and pain. Aches from varicose veins can cause the sufferer’s legs to feel tired and cramped. For those spending time in the sun, the heat results in dermal moisture loss, making skin less elastic and causing discomfort when moving.

Varicose Vein Help in Summer

What does a person with varicose veins have to do to get through the summer as comfortably as possible? First, avoid going outside during the heat of the day. If you want to go swimming or otherwise spend time outdoors, do so in the early morning or evening hours, when it isn’t as hot. Rather than wear any type of heeled shoe, choose flat sandals. Flat footwear makes your calves work more, and that in turn promotes good blood flow, essential for those with varicose veins. While you should always wear sunscreen and otherwise protect yourself from the sun while outdoors in summer, make sure you don’t neglect your legs in your sunscreen application. The thinner the skin, the more likely spider veins will appear, and sunscreen can help protect against both spider vein development and the loss of skin elasticity. Always have water with you, and keep yourself hydrated. Lack of hydration can affect your body in many ways, but for varicose vein purposes too little hydration can mean swelling of leg tissue and additional pain. Keeping yourself well-hydrated does not involve drinking alcohol beverages – these drinks actually increase the risk of dehydrating. Try to rest and elevate your legs regularly, a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes three times a day. Leg elevation helps blood to flow towards the heart and away from the legs, which can reduce swelling. Vein compression stockings are always a good idea, but they are less likely to be worn in summer’s heat. You can find lightweight compression stockings at a medical supply store or pharmacy, or online.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about vein treatment, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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