If you have varicose veins, you may have problems at any time of the year with swelling or discomfort. Summer, however, may be the most difficult season for people with vein conditions. Not only are you likely to be more aware of how your legs look when you are wearing shorts or bathing suits, but the summer heat can actually make varicose vein symptoms worse.
Why the Summer Heat Can Make Varicose Veins Worse
The veins in your legs have valves that are supposed to keep the blood moving in the correct direction, back up towards your heart. Summer heat can make your veins expand. The enlarged veins put stress on the veins’ valves, making them weaker. The weakened valves can’t do their job properly. Instead of sending all the blood back up to the heart, the veins allow some blood to flow back down into your legs. The blood pools in the veins, making varicose veins worse.
What You Can Do for Your Varicose Veins
Summer is just about over, and even though the heat is bad for your varicose veins, there are things that you can do to help:
- Protect your legs from the sun. When you go outside during the day, either wear something that covers the affected parts of your legs, or apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF.
- Stay in cool places. Stay in the shade when you are out and in air-conditioned rooms when you are inside. If you have a place to swim, that’s a good way to cool down, and swimming also helps your blood circulation.
- Avoid high heels. Wearing high heels makes your calf muscles contract, which constricts your blood circulation. Choose flat shoes or sandals instead for your everyday footwear, saving the heels for special occasions.
- Drink water throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps keep your blood circulating effectively and helps keep your legs from swelling.
- Elevation and compression. Ask your doctor about whether wearing compression stockings or elevating your legs would be helpful.
- Vein closure or removal. For a more permanent solution, consider treatment that will close or remove your varicose veins. Today’s minimally invasive treatment options, including laser and radiofrequency treatments, provide great results with minimal downtime.
Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center is a leading vein treatment center with convenient locations in the NYC area. Contact us today at 914-205-6399 to make an appointment for a free consultation.