Yes, heat definitely makes varicose veins worse, both in terms of the symptoms you experience and in terms of how fast the disease progresses. For those who suffer from varicose veins bad enough to require varicose vein treatment, the summer months can be especially bad. Heat exacerbates the symptoms of varicose veins. This includes heat from hot weather of course but can also include heat from a hot shower or a soak in a hot tub or jacuzzi. In fact, even the heat from a fireplace or campfire, if you sit there too long, can cause your varicose vein symptoms to worsen!
Why Does Heat Make Varicose Vein Symptoms Worse?
When the human body gets too hot, it automatically tries to cool itself in two ways that work in conjunction. First, you sweat more. Second, your veins dilate so that more blood rushes in and is exposed to the surface of the skin. The extra blood that is close to the skin is cooled off, especially if you are sweating, and this cooler blood is then sent to your entire body.
Unfortunately, for those with varicose veins, this means blood gorges into the varicose veins, making them work harder which puts extra pressure on vein valves that are already not functioning well. Blood will leak out as a result, causing swelling, particularly around the ankles and feet. This also causes heavy legs, stinging, cramping, and aching. Getting varicose vein treatment can help tremendously with these symptoms, especially if you live in a warmer climate and or like to soak in the hot tub or take long hot showers.
Toxin Accumulation Is Another Symptom Rarely Mentioned
If those suffering from varicose veins do not receive varicose vein treatment, the condition will get worse over time, especially if they are exposed to heat on a regular basis. This means you’ll have a lot of pooling of blood in the areas near your varicose veins, most often your legs. When this happens, there is a concentration of toxins in these areas and this can contribute to extra pain and suffering in these areas.
Toxins accumulating in the area of blood pooling can also have a devastating effect on the entire body. Toxins have been linked to autism, Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation, arthritis, heart disease, food sensitivities, asthma, skin issues, cancer, and many other diseases. This is yet another good reason to get varicose vein treatment as soon as possible at a respected vein clinic like Metro Vein Centers and not just ignore the problem.
What Can You Do About the Heat Causing Varicose Vein Flare Ups?
First and foremost, you should seek professional advice and learn what types of varicose vein treatment might help you. You can get a free evaluation at Metro Vein Centers and this can also help you provide the right documentation to your insurance company if you need treatment for medical reasons. In most cases, in all but the purely cosmetic cases of varicose vein treatment, your insurance company with cover all or most of your varicose vein treatment. Keep in mind too that in many cases the medical need will accompany the cosmetic need. If you’ve heard the old saying, “Kill two birds with one stone,” this would apply with many people would need varicose vein treatment for medical reasons and would like to have it for cosmetic reasons.
Now, as far as heat reduction, it’s imperative that you shorten your hot showers and perhaps lower the temperature a bit when you take them. However, showers are better than soaking for a long time in a hot tub of water. If you like to go outdoors, try to avoid the hottest parts of the day, usually between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM, potentially longer in the summer, especially if you happen to live in the Deep South. A tubular ice pack, or even just an icy cold scarf, wrapped around the back of your neck, will cool your entire body. If you’re sitting around outside on a hot day with your friends, try putting cold wet towels on your legs, ankles, and feet. Also, get up and walk around a bit periodically to keep your circulation up. Above all else, drink lots of water!
Longer Term Solutions
Varicose vein treatment methods like laser treatments and sclerotherapy can do away with the need to be so careful in hot weather and when soaking in the hot tub. The only way you’ll know for sure is to make an appointment with a varicose vein treatment center and get an evaluation. Your doctor will use a method called duplex ultrasound to look inside your legs (or other areas) to determine exactly what is wrong with your veins.
You can also try inversion therapy at your local gym or buy inversion therapy equipment to use at home. Another idea is to raise the foot of your bed ever so slightly so that you get more of the blood that has pooled in your legs during the day to redistribute to the rest of your body at night. Elevating your feet and legs as much as possible during the day can also help a lot.