Varicose veins have become a bothersome chronic condition for as many as 50% of all Americans. While the condition generally worsens in hot weather – high temperatures cause your veins to naturally dilate, which results in venous reflux, poor blood circulation and blood pooling around ankles and calves – winter time with cooler weather and lower temperatures can have both its upsides and downsides.
Unless you’ve been lucky enough to live in warm climates, where winter is really just a word rather than a weather description, chances are you will get a little lazier throughout the seasons of fall and winter. It’s usually too cold, rainy or snowy to go outside, and most people tend to stay indoors. The lack of movement and physical exercise certainly has negative impact on the state of your veins. In general, most of the healthy physical activities that help varicose veins, such as walking, cycling and swimming are simply harder to do in mud and snow, and people end up sitting in front of the fireplace with a cup of tea, rather than slaving on a treadmill in a gym. Count in the Christmas time overeating and gaining weight, and you have a perfect recipe for a disaster.
Other than the lack of movement, winter in cool climates usually has rather positive effect on varicose veins. Lower temperatures cause your veins to shrink as opposed to the summer dilation – this makes it easier for the vein valves to function properly and the blood is not pooling around your ankles and calves – definitely fewer cramps and swollen ankles! It is also more comfortable to wear compression stockings in the winter – what would become a terrible nuisance in the middle of a hot summer, is a welcomed extra layer to keep you warm in the winter frost.
Get the treatment
Most importantly, winter time is convenient to get your varicose veins treated. On top of the above mentioned advantages, winter has one absolute pro compared to summertime – minimum of UV rays. Even with the non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments today, it is always recommended to stay away from sun after you’ve had your varicose veins treated – in the winter, problem solved! Your legs are covered in cold temperatures anyway, so there’s no risk of adverse effects caused by UV rays.
Choose one of the advanced techniques, such as Sclerotherapy or Endovenous Laser Treatment and get rid of painful veins before this Christmas is over!