For individuals who experience the displeasure of having the appearance of varicose veins in their legs, the summer can be a harrowing season. With the warmer weather comes the need to wear shorts, skirts and other skin-revealing clothing in an effort to beat the heat. Sufferers, however, often prefer to keep their legs covered up even on the hottest of days. But keeping varicose veins out of sight is only part of the summertime problem.
How does heat impact varicose veins?
Although there are generally no symptoms associated with varicose veins, they can be affected by changes in the weather. As Dustin Taylor of The Center for Venous Disease explains, issues such as temperature, humidity and air pressure impact the human body in a number of ways. People with varicose veins are no exception.
“When the weather is warm, people with this condition may notice that their legs feel heavy or full,” he writes, “In addition, there may be swelling, especially at the ankles, as well as some cramping. If people already have these symptoms, they may notice that the symptoms become worse when the weather is warm.”
How does the heat cause swelling?
Taylor explains that warm weather tends to dilate veins that are close to the skin. This causes “chronic venous insufficiency” which can worsen the appearance of veins and exacerbate their symptoms. He also notes that heat causes people to sweat, resulting in a loss of salt from the body. This can disrupt the body’s fluid balance making it difficult for veins to pull fluid from tissues.
“Because veins are the most important way that fluid in cells is recycled to the heart, this leads to fluid build-up in the legs and ankles,” Taylor informs us, “This fluid accumulation around varicose veins can make symptoms worse.”
How bad can the symptoms of varicose veins get in the summer?
It’s important to remember that varicose veins appear because of a blockage that causes blood to pool. The swelling that occurs can create feelings of soreness and tightness. Of course, the more swelling that occurs, the worse these symptoms can get. Helen Cosgrove of U.K.-based health brand, A. Vogel explains how warm weather worsens the symptoms.
“Aching legs can occur because the veins are working harder and harder to efficiently pump blood against gravity and back to the heart – a tough job for already-damaged veins,” she describes, “This, along with the build-up of toxins that result from pooling blood, causes legs to ache. When the body warms up and extra blood is sent to these surface veins, inevitably they have to work even harder, which can exacerbate the aching feeling in your legs.”
What is the best way to manage varicose veins in the summer?
Firstly, it’s wise to avoid excessive heat to the legs. Finding ways to keep cool – as you normally would during the summer – will help to keep the symptoms of varicose veins at bay. Keep active – don’t sit around for long periods of time so that you can promote blood circulation. And be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly offer sclerotherapy as our safe and effective method of eliminating varicose veins. Known as the “gold standard” treatment in varicose and spider vein removal, sclerotherapy uses a sclerosing solution that closes the feeder veins that cause varicose and spider veins to form.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email email@example.com.