For the more than 24 million Americans who suffer from venous issues like varicose veins and spider veins, the summer can be a difficult part of the year. Symptoms from these vein issues are present throughout the year, but they can often be exacerbated by the hotter months.
At Abella Health, our treatment for spider and varicose veins includes attention to these kinds of areas. Here are some basics on how heat affects veins, important related factors, and how a vein doctor can help you protect your legs.
How Heat Affects Veins
Over $3 billion is spend on treatment for various venous issues in the US alone each year, and the summer is one of the periods with the highest spending. Higher temperatures naturally lead to veins dilating beyond their normal size, which can come with swelling and some discomfort symptoms in many cases.
For people who are already dealing with varicose or spider veins, this can worsen the symptoms. Many people in this situation have increasingly sensitive skin in the summer, and may have higher rates of itching, tenderness or rashes developing.
There are several other factors that play a role in venous issues, and these can combine with the hot summer temperatures. People over age 50 are at much greater risk, as are women, particularly those who have had multiple pregnancies in the past. Also, anyone who has a job where they have to sit or stand for long periods of time will be at higher risk.
Protecting Legs During Summer
There are a few important areas when it comes to taking extra care here in the summer:
Healthy weight and lifestyle: While the heat might be placing more stress than you’d like on your veins, you can counter this by decreasing this stress through a healthy weight and overall lifestyle. Consider exercise whenever possible to help limit swelling.
Compression therapy: There are stockings specifically designed for running and sports if you’re someone looking to build strength in the legs over the summer without overheating. You can even spray or soak your stockings if you want them cooler.
Avoidance: If heat is a major issue for your venous issues despite the areas above, you can consider simply avoiding the hottest outside temperatures where possible.