Varicose veins are a common plight for many adults, and managing them can be a challenge when you aren’t sure where to begin. The bulging veins beneath the skin are unsightly, and in some cases, painful and itchy, leading to the discomfort that is ongoing and debilitating. The good news is that there are several treatment methods that work to reduce or eliminate the issues that come with varicose veins. As the winter months approach, individuals seeking treatment for vein issues can take control over their varicose veins by reaping the benefits colder weather provides. Here are a few of those benefits, whether treatment or maintaining healthy veins is your goal.
Less Sun Exposure
When the skin is overexposed to sunlight, it can present challenges in one’s ability to move around easily. Without enough movement, the capillaries on the skin begin to put up a fight, limiting normal blood circulation. This takes place to an even greater degree shortly after varicose vein therapy occurs. Most vein experts suggest refraining from too much sunlight after vein therapy to help reduce the restriction of capillaries and therefore limiting the progress made by vein therapy in the first place. During the winter months, most individuals experience a reduced amount of sun exposure which is beneficial in achieving varicose vein treatment success.
One of the reasons most people look forward to the winter months is their ability to take more time away from the hustle and bustle of work and life obligations. The holidays combined with less than inviting weather present the perfect opportunity to rest and recharge. Someone who has just had varicose vein treatment needs this relaxing downtime to heal properly. Elevation of the legs, ample rest, and reduced activity are all recommended after treatment, and the winter is the most opportune time to ensure these recommendations are implemented.
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Comfort of Compression
Nearly all vein specialists are proponents of compression socks and stockings as part of a well-rounded varicose vein treatment regimen. Compression stockings add necessary pressure to the legs, forcing improved circulation and blood flow throughout the body. During warmer months, the heaviness of compression socks or stockings can be unbearable, meaning most will sidestep this recommendation altogether. The winter season is the perfect time to utilize compression stockings as part of a varicose vein treatment routine because the temperatures are far cooler than mid-year. Also, compression socks and stockings are easily hidden beneath pant legs – a task that is far harder during the short-wearing season.
Tips for Keeping Your Veins Healthy
Not everyone is seeking treatment for varicose veins, regardless of the time of year, but everyone should take steps to maintain the health of their veins. Eddie Chaloner, a leading vein specialist in the UK, explains that during the winter, it can be a challenge to keep up with all the activities that encourage healthy veins. The most common culprits of vein issues, including reduced circulation, weight gain, and being inactive, come together during colder months. To fight off vein issues at the helm, he suggests focusing on a few simple activities throughout the winter.
First, individuals can help maintain healthy circulation in their legs and throughout the body by taking time to elevate the legs. Before hitting the sack, it is recommended to lift the legs up off the ground for 30 minutes or so, boosting circulation before a period of inactivity. Those who want to maintain healthy veins during the cooler months may also focus on their diet, including foods high in fiber that support normal blood flow.
Chaloner also suggests stretching in the morning, in the middle of the day, and again before going to bed. Forcing the veins to do what they are intended helps keep blood flowing freely. Individuals may also find it beneficial to massage the ankles and lower legs, especially after a long period of standing or sitting.
The winter months are the perfect time to either seek treatment for varicose veins or take the steps mentioned above to ensure vein health is at its highest. Varicose veins are not completely avoidable, but taking advantage of these winter opportunities is beneficial to those concerned about the development of or already experiencing vein issues.