While summer heat won’t cause varicose veins, it could make them feel worse than usual. As your body attempts to shed heat to maintain a consistent temperature, your blood vessels will dilate. This means already-enlarged veins can grow even bigger, intensifying the discomfort you’re encountering.

If you experience increased pressure, pain, or throbbing sensations around your varicose veins when the weather gets warmer, here’s what you can do to manage those symptoms this season.

How to Cope with Varicose Veins in Summer

Kick Your Feet Up

Elevating your legs could help ease the symptoms of varicose veins. When your legs are positioned above your heart, you’ll prevent blood from pooling in your lower body and putting extra pressure on your veins. A relaxing summer day is the perfect excuse for elevating your feet, whether you’re enjoying an afternoon rest in your hammock or propping your legs up poolside.

Try Compression Socks

Tight, knee-high socks may sound like the least appealing wardrobe option for the summer, but consider this: In a 2021 review, researchers found that participants who wore compression socks consistently reported improvements in their varicose vein symptoms. These garments work by putting pressure on your ankles and lower legs to gently encourage blood to flow back upwards. If your daily routine involves air conditioning, you may find that graduated compression socks are tolerable in the summertime. 

Drink Water

When you’re dehydrated, your blood holds onto excess sodium. It becomes thicker and more difficult to push through your arteries, but getting enough fluids is an easy fix to encourage circulation. Sip lots of water this summer to replenish any hydration you lose through sweat. Women should aim for 2.7 liters of water or water-containing foods daily, while men need up to 3.7 liters.

Avoid High-Sodium Foods

If you’ve ever felt swollen after eating salty foods, it’s not your imagination. Your kidneys need to maintain a certain sodium-to-water ratio to keep your body functioning optimally, so they’ll retain extra water if you’ve had more salt than usual. But the added volume creates more pressure on your legs, so cut back on salty foods if you have varicose veins – especially this season.

Aim for Routine Exercise

While some rest will alleviate varicose veins, you don’t want to stay completely sedentary. Regular exercise can provide relief from varicose veins by keeping your blood flowing to and from your legs. Walking is a simple yet effective option: it activates the muscle pump action in your calves, strengthening your body’s ability to circulate blood back upwards. Swimming can have a similar effect and is an especially great option if you’re looking to minimize the impact of exercise on your joints. 

See a Varicose Vein Specialist

While the methods above may alleviate some of the nuisances that come with varicose veins, summer heat will persist year after year, and these fixes are only temporary. For a more permanent solution, consider varicose vein treatment. You’ll feel better not only when the warm weather hits, but year-round.

Experiencing Varicose Vein Problems? Schedule an Appointment With Vascular Surgical Associates

Vascular Surgical Associates offers several treatment options for varicose veins, including minimally invasive procedures that can put an end to your discomfort. To schedule a consultation, call 770-423-0595 or request an appointment online.