One of the common complaints about varicose veins is the way they look. Many sufferers look forward to the colder months when they can wear long pants and comfortably hide their legs. Although this time of year can make it easy to cover the problem, many doctors will agree that winter is the best time to treat varicose veins. These are a few of the reasons why.
Firstly, how do varicose veins develop?
Unfortunately, the main cause of varicose veins is genetics and some people are simply more likely to develop a condition called Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). When CVI occurs, the vein walls become weak and blood is no longer able to efficiently flow back up to the heart.
Blood then pools and will eventually develop into swollen, twisted varicose veins. Learn more: Varicose vein causes.
Why winter is the best time to treat varicose veins
1) Winter helps reduce the symptoms of varicose veins
The cooler weather can actually have a positive impact on the symptoms of varicose veins by reducing discomfort, swelling and cramping.
2) Comfortably wear compression stockings
Compression stockings have been proven to help provide some relief from varicose veins and make a difference to your health. Compression stockings are also prescribed after treatment and it is recommended you wear them for 3-5 days.
Due to the thickness of compression stockings, you can imagine that they will keep you quite warm. This can make them harder to tolerate in the warmer months.
3) UV rays can cause damage and hinder recovery
After having your varicose veins treated you may experience slight bruising, and very mild swelling.
We recommend keeping the sun off your legs for a few weeks after treatment (particularly sclerotherapy) because UV rays can sometimes cause skin discolouration in healing legs.
Chances are you will be wearing long pants and staying indoors more in winter, making avoiding the sun rays easier.
4) We all generally slow down in the winter
For a few weeks after treatment, it’s important to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting as the internal pressure in the blood vessels may already be high and exercises that involve straining and lifting can further increase the pressure and undue strain on your circulation.
There are certain exercises that your vein doctor may advise against, such as lifting weights, doing leg squats, crunches, sit-ups, and lunges.
Seek expert advice
The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive program using non-surgical laser treatment techniques. You can learn more in our Definitive Guide to Varicose Vein Treatment.
The benefits of non-surgical varicose vein treatment are:
- Walk-in walk-out treatment
- 98% success rate
- Extremely effective
- Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
- No general anaesthetic
- Medicare rebates apply
- No downtime or time away from work