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The Heat Is On Your Veins This Summer!

Heat and Varicose Veins

A couple minutes outside in July and August can leave you wanting to find the nearest air conditioning, but varicose veins hate the sweltering temperatures as much as you. Varicose veins occur when a vein valve ceases to function as it should. Blood isn’t properly pumped through your circulatory systems and pools in the vein, normally in the lower leg. This can cause dark, visible veins and heavy, aching legs. Warm temperatures can cause swelling of the legs which lessens the veins’ abilities to pump blood. Don’t let varicose veins ruin your summer, though.
 

Here are a few adjustments that can be made to enjoy the summer months.

  • Stay as cool as possible: Wear loose, light colored clothes instead of dark colors which absorb heat.
  • Spend more time at the pool: An added benefit in the relaxing, low-impact exercise helps improve your venous health without putting too much pressure on your joints.
  • Pack a water bottle: While water is imperative for staying cool and avoiding heat sickness, it’s also beneficial for venous health. Proper hydration helps your blood circulation.
  • Put on compression stockings: After spending time in the hot weather, compression stockings can help your veins handle any stress the heat may have placed on them. So be sure to put them on when returning indoors.

Varicose Veins: Not Just a Women’s Problem

For Ladies Only…not.

If you’re like most guys, you figure that varicose veins are a woman’s problem. Certainly nothing you have to worry about. Right? Think again.
As many as 56 percent of men suffer from varicose veins, according to British research. Risk factors include family history of varicose veins, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and prolonged standing.
 
While many think varicose veins are just a cosmetic concern – they can lead to discoloration, bleeding skin ulcers, and a “heavy leg” sensation that may hinder daily activity. When in an erect position, blood pools in the lower extremity veins expanding the vein walls over time. This can lead to a bulged look of varicose veins – causing symptoms that include throbbing, swelling, and decreased morbidity.
 
Most men don’t seek treatment for varicose veins for various reasons including:
  • Men don’t shave their legs (or even look at them). As a result, leg veins tend to be obscured beneath a swath of hair.
  • Bulging veins are associated with bulging muscles. No matter what any bulging blue or purple veins should be seen by a vein specialist, even if no pain if present.
  • Men don’t talk about it. When was the last time a man chatted about varicose veins with a buddy over beer?
  • Varicose veins is a “women’s problem”. No matter who it affects any medical issue should be examined.
Varicose vein evaluation includes a brief physical exam and often an ultrasound to look for underlying vein problems that may be a contributing factor. Patients with large varicose veins often have valve dysfunction in veins beneath the skin, which results in excess pressure in the veins.
 
An appointment can be made with on of the VIC Vascular Team providers by calling 423-602-2750.