Queenslanders love summer, it's what we're famous for, but for those living with varicose veins or venous insufficiency the sunny warm months can be three months of nightmares by bringing extra discomfort or self consciousness. Varicose veins can prevent us from enjoying the months when bare legs and trips to the beach are common. Here’s what you need to know about varicose veins during the summer.
Excessive heat expands veins
Frequent exposure to high temperatures can dilate the veins, allowing for more blood to pool, thus causing them to expand or bulge, placing more stress on valves in the veins. Staying cool is the best way to prevent this from happening. Cooling exercises (like swimming or indoor yoga) can help promote blood circulation without exposure to excessive heat.
The sun can agitate varicose veins
While the sun may not cause varicose or spider veins, it can certainly exacerbate them. UV rays weaken the skin’s upper layers, depleting moisture. As a result, the skin can lose some elasticity or ability to move – which may aggravate weak veins. If you have varicose vein symptoms, avoid excessive exposure to the sun or tanning beds, wear sunscreen, and stay hydrated!
Don’t let venus problems derail your ruin plans—follow these tips for a happy, healthy, vein-pain-free summer.
- Stay Cool. If you have vein problems of any kind, it’s a good idea to keep your body as cool as possible during the summer. Make sure you wear clothes that aren't going to have you burning up in the summer heat and think about hitting the water to cool down if you plan to be outside for a prolonged period of time.
- Exercise to keep the blood circulating. In addition to offering great respite from the summer heat, swimming is one of the best ways to promote normal circulation and keep blood vessels from dilating. A low-impact exercise that saves you joint and leg muscle pain while increasing your heart rate, swimming pumps the muscles of the lower and upper body to improve circulation to the heart and lungs. Not near a pool or the beach? Keep moving by taking an evening walk around our beautiful city - the walkways along the river and around Kangaroo Point and the Story Bridge are really enjoyable this time of year.
- Keep hydrated! Keeping your body properly hydrated will help it effectively circulate blood, heal injuries faster and allow for healthier skin. Anyone with vein problems should pay close attention to their hydration levels during the summer, when the heat can easily dry anyone out. If you plan on being outside, take a water bottle everywhere.
- Flatten out for summer! Opt for summery flats and sandals rather than high heels that keep your calf muscles from effectively pumping blood out of the leg. There’s a major beauty and fitness plus to this one – wearing lower heels makes your calves work a little harder, keeping them curvy and strong!
- Remember the basics. We've been hearing it for years, but always remember to SLIP, SLOP, SLAP - especially in the summer months! Slather on the sun block and high SPF moisturisers, not just on your legs, but also on your face and nose, where thinner skin is more prone to developing spider veins, and cover up or seek shade if you’ll be outside for long periods of time.