Whew! It’s a heatwave out there! You may be able to fry an egg on the sidewalk, but that won’t stop us from getting out and participating in our favorite summer sports here in Denver! There is one thing that might, though – damaged veins. If your spider and varicose veins are keeping you indoors, don’t let them! It’s possible to manage veins and we’ll show you how.
It’s true that heat and sun can cause additional damage to varicose and spider veins. But there are plenty of ways to
- be more comfortable,
- protect already damaged veins,
- prevent new damage, and
- still go out in the sun and heat.
So let’s get to it!
Varicose and Spider Veins in Summer
Unlike the ingredients in your favorite summer cocktail, sunny, humid days, air travel, and venous disease don’t mix.
How can the sun affect varicose and spider veins?
Too much sun exposure can damage your skin, making it less elastic and affecting the veins underneath it. If veins don’t function normally, blood is more likely to pool within them. This can both worsen varicose or spider vein damage and create conditions for new ones to pop up. Damaged skin also allows tiny capillaries to rise to the skin’s surface, where they break and cause spider veins.
What’s heat got to do with how you manage veins?
When the temps rise, your body tries to keep itself cool by directing more blood towards the surface of the skin. High temperatures also expand blood vessels, making it even more difficult for vein valves to keep blood moving in the right direction. This can negatively affect the appearance of your varicose veins and even worsen the condition.
Why are my varicose vein symptoms on steroids in summer?
Heat can exaggerate your spider and varicose vein symptoms. Because the heat causes veins to expand, your legs can feel heavy, tired, and swollen. Not only will excessive vein swelling cause pain, but it can also cause itching and skin rashes. Another reason to manage your veins well.
Travelling is affected too?
Travelling can be difficult if you have to spend long periods of time sitting down. You probably already know that remaining sedentary for too long can affect your varicose veins symptoms. If you have varicose veins and are stuck in a seat for too long, you could develop blood clots that can be dangerous.
Eek! Maybe I should just stay inside in the AC and walk on the treadmill!
Before you throw out all of your summer plans, let’s take a reality check. Yes, varicose and spider veins can affect how you go about having summer fun, but they don’t mean you have to ditch it altogether.
How to Manage Veins in Summer
Are you stressed out because your friends and family are gearing up for their annual summer fun, and you’re not sure if you can participate because of your varicose or spider veins? There’s no reason why you can’t make the most out of your summer too! All it takes is a little planning.
When traveling by plane
If you must take a long-haul flight, pay for extra leg room. You can then stretch out your legs and perform a few simple exercises to help keep your blood flowing properly.
Also, be sure to wear loose comfortable clothing for the duration of the flight – no skinny jeans or tight-waisted shorts that will constrict blood flow, please!
Make sure to take a few bottles of water on board with you so you can stay hydrated. The need to empty a full bladder will also make you get up and move around more.
Wear compression socks. These can help with blood flow and we all know it’s cold on those planes anyway. Compression socks now come in a variety of colors that can fit any wardrobe!
Sunscreen for bathing beauties
Whether or not you’re sunbathing deliberately, sunburn can damage your skin and increase your skin temperature.
Sunburn doesn’t damage your veins directly, but when your skin’s been damaged, your body instigates an inflammatory response to get blood and nutrients to the affected area. It floods your system with inflammatory chemicals, upsetting your symptoms, and causing unwanted pain and discomfort.
To avoid sunburn, apply a high SPF sunscreen liberally all over your body 15 minutes before you go out in the sun. Make sure you reapply it every couple of hours – and use water-resistant sunscreen if you’re going to take part in water sports.
Clothing not optional
Okay. It’s the middle of summer. We know you want to frolic around like the people you’re with who are indulging in shorts, skirts, and summer dresses. But to avoid sun damage, it’s best to wear UV-protected clothing, cover arms and legs, and don a wide-brimmed hat.
You may also have reservations about baring your legs in public because of those unsightly veins. So find fun ways to express yourself and protect yourself with fun clothing that fits the bill!
Rather Not Deal With Varicose and Spider Veins This Summer?
Enough about how to manage veins! If you’d rather not have to deal with damaged veins this summer and would rather show off your varicose/spider-vein-free legs instead, there are many minimally invasive vein removal treatments available.
The gold standard for spider vein treatment is sclerotherapy, which can virtually erase spider veins from your skin. Varicose vein treatment is also available. Each varicose vein treatment has a different method and provides different benefits to patients.
Be Aware: Post-Op Varicose and Spider Vein Patients Should Avoid the Sun
Summer may not be the right time for varicose vein treatment. You should avoid direct sun exposure to your treated leg after most varicose and spider vein procedures. Sun exposure can stimulate melanin and cause dark discoloration on recently treated areas.
Consult with a vein specialist about the recovery time estimate for your procedure – some may only require a few days or up to two weeks for recovery. You can therefore plan in advance to be out of this safety period before your holidays.
Don’t Let Venous Disease Ruin Your Summer Fun!
Whether you wish to discuss prevention or go ahead and treat the spider or varicose veins you already have, we can help you at Denver Vein Center! Book an appointment today and enjoy the rest of your summer!