We’ve been looking forward to it for months and now we are finally on the cusp of warmer weather. As we shed our layers of clothing to enjoy more sunshine and welcoming temperatures, people with varicose veins have new concerns to address. We often hear how people feel self-conscious in the summer due to the appearance of their ropy, bulging veins. This is only part of the problem, though. Spending a day outdoors, by the pool, or enjoying a hot tub on a cool evening can all lead to uncomfortable varicose vein symptoms. Here, we will discuss why this happens and what you might do about it.
How Heat Affects Varicose Veins
Blood is constantly cycling through the body. From the heart, oxygenated blood circulates through the arteries to reach all parts of the body. After it delivers oxygen and nutrients as needed, the blood enters the vast system of veins to return to the heart, where the cycle begins all over again. Varicose veins form when a vein, due to aging, injury, or a sedentary lifestyle, doesn’t work as well as it should. The veins in the legs have valves along their length to keep the flow of blood moving upward. Valves can get weak. When they do, blood doesn’t leave the vein as efficiently as it used to, and the vein starts to swell.
A swollen vein is under stress. When we get hot, that stress increases. This happens because the body naturally widens veins to cool off. This gets blood moving to the surface more quickly so the body can cool down but, for the varicose vein, the increase in blood circulation causes uncomfortable symptoms. Essentially, the vein that is already working very hard has to work even harder. The result is aching, increased swelling, and cramping.
How to Manage Varicose Veins in Summer
To decrease your risk of experiencing an increase in varicose vein symptoms, the best thing you can do is visit our office in Laurel, MD. Here, we can discuss how to close varicose veins using minimally invasive treatment. If you’re not ready to schedule varicose vein treatment just yet, you can try the following:
- Exercise several days a week. It might seem odd to think that exercise can help soothe varicose veins, but it does. A daily walk or some heel-raises work the calf muscles, which helps move blood out of the legs.
- Elevate. Elevation is one of the leading strategies for varicose veins. This can be done every evening or, if you have restless legs when you sleep, right before bed.
- Reduce salt intake. As an alternative to salty packaged foods, eat more fresh foods. Items with magnesium can be especially helpful because this mineral has anti-inflammatory properties.
The best varicose veins are those that are gone. Schedule your consultation for varicose vein treatment at (855) 803-MIVC (6482).