Varicose veins are more than just unsightly: they can be seriously painful. And for those of us living in Florida, the summer heat can make the problem worse. But why exactly does the heat of a Florida summer increase sensations of pain and achiness in the legs?
In today’s post, we get to the bottom of this question. Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with varicose veins, if you have painful leg veins and live in a climate where the summers are hot, you’ll want to know the answer to this question.
How the Humid Floridian Heat Affects Your Veins
Have you ever noticed that your face gets red when you exercise or spend time out in the heat? You may have thought the redness just means you’re feeling warm, but there’s a lot more to it.
This is the process of vasodilation: the veins in your face are dilating, or expanding, to increase blood flow to the surface of your skin. It’s one of the ways that your body cools itself in an effort to regulate its temperature.
Your varicose veins are already dilated more than normal veins. More blood flows to them than the surrounding normal veins. So when the heat kicks in and tells your body to start the vasodilation process, even more blood rushes to those already-dilated veins. And that’s one of the causes of your extra leg pain.
With the longer days and more opportunities for entertaining, many of us are on our feet more in the summer as well. This can lead to even more blood pooling in the legs and (you guessed it) even more aches and pains.
Tips to Reduce Varicose Leg Pain
If you’re looking for relief, here are several suggested remedies you can do on your own at home:
- Elevation: lie down and prop up your legs so that they’re higher than your heart. The pooled blood (swelling) should ease.
- Stretching and exercise: getting mild exercise will help, as will targeted stretches. Keep your feet moving, even if all this means is flexing and moving them around while seated.
- Stay hydrated: always a good idea and can help your circulatory system.
- Cold-water shower: just as heat causes veins to dilate, cold causes them to contract. Shower in cold water to help the veins contract and relieve pain.
The Dangers of Heat and Varicose Veins
Varicose veins can be unsightly and painful, but they usually aren’t dangerous. There is one concern to watch out for, though, and it’s made worse by the summer heat: spontaneous bleeding.
People with varicose veins will accumulate more blood stays near the surface of the skin than others will. They are at greater risk of bleeding from small scrapes and abrasions, and sometimes they will bleed under the skin without any obvious trigger.
Mild bleeding can be covered as you normally would a cut or scrape. But more severe bleeding (or mild bleeding that won’t stop) will require a trip to your doctor.
Follow the tips in the previous section to reduce your chances of spontaneous bleeding.
Help Is Available
The good news is that you don’t have to move to Canada to escape the summer heat and the painful leg veins that come with it. Help is available right here in Florida. If you’re looking for help with your varicose veins, you might want to Meet Our Vein Physicians in Florida.
And if you’re ready to get help today, you can schedule an appointment at Vein911 Vein Treatment Center right away.