Last Updated on 12th February 2018
Millions of adult men and women experience varicose veins at some point during their lifetime, due to genetic predisposition to vein issues, excess weight, or poor circulation of blood throughout the body. When varicose veins appear, individuals often see and feel bulges beneath the skin on their lower legs, experience itchiness and achiness, and have less self-confidence overall. In recent years, treatment options for varicose veins have improved greatly, giving individuals living with vein issues a reason to celebrate. However, recovering from varicose vein treatment and therapy can be a long haul, and many are hesitant to begin a course of action for fear of interrupting their day to day lives.
The winter months present a prime opportunity to start the road to treatment of varicose veins for several reasons. Here’s why pursuing vein treatment during the winter makes sense for many.
More Time to Rest
With the cold weather, the potential for heavy snow, and shorter daytime hours, the winter is full of opportunity when it comes to taking it easy. Rest and relaxation go hand in hand with the season, and for those who are considering or recently went through varicose vein therapy or surgery, more time to rest is exactly what the doctor orders. Achieving success after varicose vein treatment involves the ability of a patient to elevate the legs once or more per day, in addition to reducing the amount of physical activity taking place each day. While the weather is frightful, taking these precautions to ensure a successful varicose vein treatment is much easier to do.
Less Exposure to the Sun
Another benefit of the winter months for those who are planning to go through varicose vein treatment is the requirement to stay out of the sun. Overexposure to sunlight creates a situation where the skin is unable to move as freely and easily as it once was, thanks in part to capillaries restricting. When this takes place, individuals experience a lack of blood flow from the veins in the legs back to the heart. Without this vital circulation taking place with ease, varicose veins may not have an adequate opportunity to heal completely. The winter is the perfect time to stay indoors, meaning there is less exposure to the harmful sunlight that is unavoidable during the summer months.
Compression Stockings and Comfort
Most vein specialists suggest adding compression stockings to a varicose vein treatment routine. Wearing compression socks or stockings adds the appropriate amount of pressure to the legs and ultimately the veins, giving them the ability to move blood freely throughout the body. During the summer months, the heat makes compression stockings uncomfortable for most individuals. As the temperatures drop, wearing compression garments is less daunting, and they can be easily hidden under long pants or skirts for those who want to abide by the doctor’s orders without sacrificing their sense of fashion.
Tips for Maintaining Healthy Veins
There are many people who seek out varicose vein treatment during the winter months to reap the benefits mentioned above. However, for those who do not currently have varicose veins or are not planning to get treatment, there are methods to maintain the health of the veins throughout the winter. Eddie Chaloner, vein surgeon at Radiance Vein Clinic, explains that while there is no way to avoid experiencing varicose veins completely, having healthy veins and blood flow is paramount to reducing the effects. He suggests that individuals concerned about the health of their veins take these important steps during the winter.
When the temperature drops, it can be a challenge to stay as active as one was during hotter months, but including an amount of physical activity on a daily basis can keep veins healthy. Similarly, taking the time to elevate the legs before bed, and stretching a few times throughout the day works to encourage healthy blood flow throughout the veins, keeping them strong. Chaloner also recommends massaging the ankles and feet, especially after sitting or standing for an extended period of time, again to keep the blood circulating as it should.
Although the winter months are often given a bad name for the shorter days and frigid temperatures, individuals seeking varicose vein treatment have an opportunity to go through with the treatment procedure that best fits their needs with more ease. For those wanting to maintain the health of their veins, following the suggestions above will encourage the blood flow necessary to keep veins looking and feeling their best.