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Heat vs. Cold: What’s Better for Your Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are incredibly common, affecting more than 3 million people per year in the United States alone. While some people experience no symptoms with varicose veins, others struggle with intense pain and discomfort. 

These symptoms can be made worse due to various factors, including the weather. To learn more about the causes of varicose veins and how temperature can affect your veins, read on.

The Cause of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins occur when regular blood flow is blocked throughout the body. This can happen anywhere but is most often found in the legs. When circulatory issues or trauma to the valves within the veins affects blood flow, it causes the leg veins to become swollen and entangled. This leads to enlarged, highly visible varicose veins. 

These veins are often worse in patients who spend a lot of time on their feet. Those who have to spend long hours standing or walking for work typically experience severe varicose vein symptoms, including pain, swelling, and discomfort.

How Does the Weather Affect Your Veins?

The symptoms and severity of varicose veins can change depending on several factors. These include general health, age, diet, exercise, and more. 

One major factor that influences your veins is the weather. Temperature changes can change how your veins function, look, and more. So which is better for your vein health: hot weather or cold weather?

Warm Temperatures and Vein Health

When the body is exposed to warmer temperatures, various processes keep you cool. 

One of these processes is called vasodilation. During vasodilation, your blood vessels widen and expand so that blood can flow closer to your skin’s surface. In turn, sweat cools this blood, and it continues to flow through your body to keep your temperature down.

Vasodilation can be a harmful process for patients who struggle with varicose veins. When the blood vessels widen in these patients, it can lead to severe blood pooling in the lower extremities. This can lead to intense pain, discomfort, lightheadedness, and fainting.

Cold Temperatures and Vein Health

Cold temperatures are significantly healthier for those who struggle with varicose veins. This is because colder weather causes the blood vessels to constrict. When constriction occurs in the blood vessels, it causes swollen varicose veins to shrink down, which helps the veins function better.

While colder weather is more beneficial to the circulatory system than warm weather, it is important to still take action to promote vascular health. This includes eating healthy, getting regular exercise, and seeking vein treatments, if needed.

Varicose Vein Treatment at Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center

Innovative vein treatments can make a world of difference when you struggle with painful varicose veins. Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center offers several beneficial treatments to resolve varicose veins. 

Procedures like vein closure and sclerotherapy can target your vein issues at the source and help you feel like yourself again. Our two offices are located in Queens and Washington Heights. To learn more or book your consultation appointment, contact us online or by phone.

For Cardiology services you can find us on Zocdoc