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By Dr. Samuel P. Martin
Did you know that over 24 million Americans suffer from vein issues and summer heat makes these worse? See Dr. Martin’s tips to beat the heat this summer. Protect your vein health and avoid swelling and discomfort that summer heat can cause.
These stats hint at the prevalence of vein disease. But when summertime comes around, we’re met with another vein challenge. High summer temperatures can cause your veins to dilate, increasing swelling and discomfort. Many patients report increased skin sensitivity in the summer months with itching, tenderness and rashes.
Vein disorders have many potential causes, some are beyond our control, such as age and heredity. If you are over 50, your risk of having vein disease is 10 times greater than when you are 25. If your mother or father had vein problems, you have an increased risk.
Gender also plays a role, with women’s hormones contributing to higher rates of venous disease. Multiple pregnancies place a significant stress on a woman’s veins. Women with 2 more more pregnancies have greater than a 50% chance of vein problems. Jobs with long periods of sitting or standing can also cause or exacerbate vein problems. Long, hot summer days outside can be painful especially if you are overweight.
So, what can you do to protect your legs this summer? Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle is especially important to decrease the stress of vein swelling that can accompany the heat. Exercise or walking in water, especially late in the day, also helps relieve the venous congestion and swelling that can build up.
Compression therapy helps support your legs to decrease vein disease, particularly if you’re using the summer months to get into better shape. Specially designed stockings for running and sports can increase exercise benefits as you shape up over the next few months. New advanced materials allow the stockings to breathe better than those available just a decade ago. If it’s hot, you can even spray or soak the stockings in water to keep cool. Compression leggings not only look good, they allow you to wear any type of shoe and hide small spider veins and "cellulite."
While you can’t totally avoid the high summer temperatures that may aggravate your vein trouble, you can support your vein health with a fit and active lifestyle that helps prevent problems from your veins.
If you have vein concerns, reach out to our vein specialists for a consultation. We will be happy to discuss simple lifestyle changes, compression therapy and minimally invasive treatment options that can enhance your summer pleasure.