How to Protect Varicose Veins in the Summer Sun
It’s been a sweltering summer so far, and many of our patients have reported increased leg discomfort. This isn’t unique to 2022. Long summer days allow us to take advantage of more outdoor activities and recreation. We spend more time gardening, exercising, socializing, exploring… you name it. It’s healthy to be active and enjoy the outdoors, but there’s also a physical phenomenon that the high summer temperatures can cause with your veins. It’s called “vasodilation”.
Vasodilation literally translates to “enlarged blood” and the title is apt. When your body is exposed to high temperatures like the ones we’ve experienced over the most recent heat wave, our blood vessels enlarge, and veins expand to increase their “surface area” at the skin level to help cool down your body temperature. It’s an efficient and helpful adaptation to keep your body at a healthy temp, but it can also lead to discomfort, throbbing and swelling of varicose veins. Regardless of whether your experience is mild or severe, there are steps you can take to lessen the effects that heat has on your legs.
The simplest thing you can do is reduce your exposure to the heat. Limit outdoor activities like gardening and lawn mowing to the early mornings and late afternoons. The same schedule applies to any outdoor exercise. If your job requires you to work outside through the day’s highest temps, wear medical compression hose. Yes, it’s another layer of fabric, but the medical grade compression will assist with circulation and help keep leg swelling at bay. Escape to the AC as often as you can. Hydrate with cold fluids as much as possible. As always, try to neither stand nor sit for prolonged periods of time and do your best to elevate your legs for 10 to 15 minutes every day.
With proper knowledge and simple preparation, anyone can enjoy the summer sun while reducing varicose vein-related issues. But for anyone considering removing the veins altogether, we’re available to help. Procedure options are quick and minimally invasive, and treatments are covered by most insurance plans. There is no downtime either. If you’re interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to reach out at 866-695-8346.