Varicose Veins Can Get Worse During Winter
Winter is here which means that, except for the lucky ones who live in tropical climates, days are becoming short, cold and often also wet. Not the best weather to go out for a walk, or a run. Most people stay a lot more indoors during winter time and consequently get a lot less exercise. Being wrapped up in a blanket with a hot cup of chocolate is a lot more appealing than walking around in the rain or cold. Unfortunately the lack of exercise most people get during winter can contribute to a number of health conditions, including varicose veins.
Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins near the surface of the skin. They commonly occur in legs, but sometimes also occur elsewhere. In more severe cases they can become painful, promote sores and rashes, and begin to bleed.
Varicose veins are partly hereditary, but obesity, lack of exercise and a bad diet can contribute to the development of varicose veins. A lack of movement contributes to varicose veins because it forces veins to work harder to pump blood back to the heart.
Preventing Varicose Veins
While it’s difficult to completely prevent varicose veins since it’s partly a hereditary condition, there are some things you can do to decrease your chances of getting them.
- Lose weight, or if you already have a healthy weight, try to prevent it from fluctuating too much.
- Don’t wear tight pants or heels.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid standing in one spot for long periods of time.
- Get regular exercise. During winter you can get a gym membership or do some other indoor sports.
- Elevate your legs for about 15 minutes a few times per day to help relieve pain if you already suffer from varicose veins. This will also help your veins pump back blood to your heart.
Because varicose veins can worsen during winter, it is a good idea to have them treated just before. During this time your legs can recover from treatment under a protective layer of clothing. There are a few different treatments available for varicose veins, depending on how severe the condition is.
In mild cases it can be sufficient to just get more exercise, change up your diet, regularly elevate your legs, take dietary supplements and get massage and/or compression therapy.
If none of those bring relief, your doctor or skin specialist can suggest endovenous laser treatment, which is a relatively simple and almost pain-free procedure that helps close unhealthy veins. By closing these veins blood will be redirected to other veins in your legs and the unhealthy vain will eventually be absorbed by the body. It takes about 2-3 weeks for your legs to be completely healed up after this procedure has been performed.
If you notice signs of varicose veins it is important that you see a doctor or dermatologist as soon as you can. The earlier the condition is diagnosed the easier treatment will be. Varicose veins look quite innocent but they can affect your body’s overall health quite a bit.