For those who suffer from varicose veins, the warmer summer weather brings new problems. From increased self-consciousness about wearing leg-baring shorts or bathing suits to exacerbated symptoms, summer isn’t necessarily a favorite season. If you suffer from vein problems, you should visit a vein specialist as soon as possible to get help reducing the pain of varicose veins or to eliminate the need to hide your veiny legs. In the meantime, here are six tips to help reduce your discomfort so you can enjoy the summer months.
1. Stay cool – Increased heat can dilate your veins and cause pain and other symptoms like aching and tenderness to worsen. Help keep your body cool by wearing loose or flowing clothes in breathable cotton whenever possible.
2. Stay hydrated – By drinking plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day, you will not only stay cool, you’ll improve your circulation.
3. Stay active – Regular, low-impact exercise like swimming and walking will work your calf muscles, which can improve circulation in your legs. If you sit a lot at work or home, you can help relieve pressure in your varicose veins by keeping your legs uncrossed and periodically rotating your ankles, then flexing and pointing your feet 10-15 times. Doing this at regular intervals throughout the day can reduce pressure in the legs and improve circulation.
4. Wear support socks – Compression stockings and socks are available at most medical supply stores and are now made in a variety of skin tones and fashionable colors. You can take advantage of one of the newer style trends that considers pairing shorts and sandals with tights to be fashion-forward rather than a fashion faux pas! You might opt to hide your compression stockings under some of the longer-length sundresses or loose pants that are in style this season.
5. Use self-tanners – If you have not yet undergone vein treatment, or if your treated veins are not yet diminished, you can use self-tanners to help cover them. The bluish-purple tone of varicose and spider veins will appear less pronounced if your legs are browner overall.
6. Keep legs elevated – Lessen the negative effects of gravity on varicose veins by putting your feet up on a box, stool or ottoman whenever you sit. If you are relaxing at home, you can also lie down on the sofa or recliner with your feet propped up. Extra pillows can be placed under your feet whenever you are lying down in bed.
Other tips for reducing vein problems include cutting down on salt consumption and losing any excess weight that might be adding too much pressure to your legs.