Some would argue that summer is the best season, but those living with varicose veins may disagree.
How Heat Affects the Varicose Veins
Heat can worsen the look and feel of varicose veins. When you’re out on a hot summer day or been sitting in a hot tub, the body tries to cool itself by dilating the blood vessels. This response from the body aims to bring more blood, fluids, and salt to the skin to encourage sweating (sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself).
When the blood is pushed towards the surface of the skin, more blood is directed towards varicose veins as these veins are just found under the surface of the skin. The larger volume of blood being pushed adds more pressure into the diseased veins, causing more pooling, swelling, and damage.
The Effect of Heat on Varicose Vein Symptoms
Aside from making the varicose veins look more obvious, heat can also worsen some of the symptoms associated with varicose veins.
You can feel more the sensation of heaviness or achiness in your legs as the veins have to work harder to efficiently pump the blood against gravity. On hot days, you’ll also notice more swelling on your ankles and feet. This is usually a result of poor circulation in the area, because as the temperature increases, the body sends more blood to the surface of the skin.
Leg cramps can also get worse on hot days as the veins are being overworked. The cramps can also be a result of pooling of deoxygenated blood and toxins in the surrounding tissue.
Beat the Symptoms on a Hot Day
Varicose veins are more than just a cosmetic problem. They can be a source of great discomfort and can lead to the formation of painful ulcers. Here are the things you can do to manage your varicose veins and their symptoms on a hot day:
- Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated doesn’t just keep your body cool; it also helps in improving your circulation.
- Stay active
Swelling can worsen as a result of poor blood circulation. You can keep this from happening by staying active. Doing low-impact exercises like walking on a regular basis can help.
- Keep your legs elevated
Elevating your legs can reduce the effects of gravity on your varicose veins. You can put your feet up on a box, stool, or on top of extra pillows when you’re laying down on the bed.
If you’re tired of living with varicose veins, don’t fret. With advancements in technology, there are minimally invasive options available for the treatment of varicose veins. Most require little to no down time! To find out if treatment is right for you, request a free vein screening online or call (865) 588-8229.