For people who suffer from varicose veins and other vein conditions, the summer can be a difficult time of the year. Summertime can bring exacerbated symptoms for some varicose vein sufferers, and beyond this, there are worries surrounding increased self-consciousness about the appearance of the legs.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help reduce discomfort and get better-looking legs for the summer.
Compression stockings and other compression garments are a simple way to improve circulation in the legs and combat vein issues. They gently place graduated pressure on the legs and help prevent swelling, blood clots and bulging veins.
Compression garments generally come in a variety of skin tones and colors. Some people choose to hide compression garments under longer-length dresses or pants, but there are also new style trends that can make openly wearing compression garments a more inviting task. Compression alone does not cure the underlying causes of vein issues or eliminate them, but it can increase comfort and confidence for many people.
Here are several other general tips for relieving discomfort and getting better-looking legs:
- Stay cool: Increased heat can dilate the veins, leading to pain and other symptoms such as aching and tenderness. Wear loose, flowing clothes in breathable cotton whenever possible, and look for ways to generally stay cool.
- Keep hydrated: Staying hydrated throughout the day helps you stay cool and contributes to improved circulation.
- Be active: Regular low-impact exercise, such as swimming or walking, will work the calf muscles and help improve circulation in the legs. If you sit a lot, keep the legs uncrossed and periodically rotate the ankles, then flex and point your feet repeatedly—this will help to relieve pressure in varicose veins.
- Use self-tanners: As a cosmetic assistant, you can use self-tanners to help cover unsightly varicose veins you aren’t comfortable showing publicly. The bluish-purple tones they take on will be less pronounced if the legs as a whole are browner.
- Keep your feet elevated: Whenever you sit, look to keep your feet raised on a box, stool or ottoman. While lying down, try to keep the feet propped up—many people use extra pillows. This helps lessen the effects of gravity on varicose veins.
Treating Underlying Symptoms
In the long term, treating the underlying causes of vein conditions will help improve the condition overall. For general vein disease, treatment methods might include:
- Endovenous therapy: Using radiofrequency energy to close off veins.
- Venaseal: An ultrasound-guided, non-surgical treatment to seal veins with an adhesive.
- Varithena: Another ultrasound-guided, non-surgical procedure that involves injecting a novel foam sclerotherapy into problem veins.
Treatments for bulging varicose veins or spider veins include:
- Ambulatory phlebectomy: An office-based treatment that removes the veins under local anesthesia and using tiny incisions.
- Sclerotherapy: A process of injecting veins with a solution and causing them to disappear.
- Laser therapy: Used for veins that do not respond to sclerotherapy.
Your doctor can offer a complete, specialized plan to help you reduce vein issues and become more comfortable before summer.
“How to Get Better Looking Legs Before Summer.” Vein Specialists of the South. http://www.veinspecialists.com/blog/get-better-looking-legs-summer/
“Summer Spells Trouble for People with Varicose Veins: 6 Tips for Relief.” VeinDirectory.org. http://www.veindirectory.org/blog/summer-spells-trouble-for-people-with-varicose-veins-6-tips-for-relief