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Preventing Winter Vein Issues: Tips for Maintaining Healthy Legs All Season

If you live with varicose veins, you know the discomfort can be worse during the winter months. Changes in air temperature can cause muscles and blood vessels to constrict, putting more pressure on veins.

Reduced activity and those extra holiday pounds can also have a negative impact on damaged veins. Vein closure treatment is an effective way to prevent winter vein issues. However, there are other steps you can take to minimize discomfort.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Veins contain tiny valves that open and close as blood pumps toward the heart. While arteries carry blood away from the heart, veins must work against gravity to return blood to the heart.

If these valves become weak or damaged, blood may flow backward. This causes the veins to twist, stretch, and pool with trapped blood, making what is known as varicose veins.

Good vein health is an important part of your overall well-being. However, not all varicose veins cause discomfort. Spider veins in the legs are often little more than an aesthetic issue. However, some varicose veins are painful enough to negatively impact your activity and quality of life.

5 Tips for Better Vein Health

Varicose veins can be unsightly, but they are more than a cosmetic issue. Damaged veins can cause:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Leg pain
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration
  • Leg cramps
  • Restless legs

These symptoms can all worsen in the winter. The following tips will help prevent vein damage and minimize discomfort if you already have varicose veins.

1. Stay Active

A lack of activity is one of the biggest reasons for poor vein health, and many people become more sedentary when the temperatures drop and outdoor surfaces become slick and icy.

It’s not necessary to exercise for hours every day — you can help protect vein health with just two or three 10-minute daily exercise breaks. Walk around the house, march in place, or walk up and down a staircase a few times.

2. Stay Warm

Your body’s circulatory system naturally slows down in cold weather. This biological response is a way to protect your core temperature and vital organs, but it can worsen vein problems or lead to them.

One way to combat this response is to keep your legs warm, especially when going outdoors. If you live in a cold-weather region, consider layering thin leggings or long underwear under your pants.

Compression socks are another solution. These socks offer an extra layer that helps you stay warm while they increase blood flow to the legs.

3. Stay Hydrated

Many people tend to drink fewer liquids in the wintertime. A nice refreshing glass of cool water doesn’t have the same appeal when snow is falling as it does when the summer heat is beating down on you.

Dehydration can lead to poor circulation, which is bad for vein health. If cold beverages aren’t appealing, drink warm herbal teas, clear broth, and room-temperature water to stay hydrated.

4. Avoid Weight Gain

Gaining weight puts additional pressure and stress on your circulatory system. It can also lead to other problems that compromise your general wellness and make it more difficult to take care of your vein health.

5. Consider Vein Closure Treatment

Vein closure treatment is a minimally invasive procedure that eliminates the damaged veins that are the source of your discomfort.

Using an ultrasound as guidance, a surgeon makes a small incision into the skin and inserts a catheter into the affected vein. The surgeon then collapses the vein with a laser, which closes it permanently. This clears the way for healthy new veins to grow in their place.

Vein closure provides fast relief from discomfort. Most patients can return to normal activity less than a day after the procedure. Because it is minimally invasive, there is no risk from general anesthesia and no long-term impacts on surrounding tissue.

Are You Ready to Discuss Vein Closure Treatment?

Lifestyle changes like exercise and dressing warmly are important, but they’re not always enough to reduce the pain of varicose veins and keep unaffected veins healthy.

If it’s time to consider a more permanent solution to painful veins, contact Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center today. Our specialists will answer your questions about vein closure treatment as well as other therapies that can help improve your vein health.

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