words Alexa Wang
During one’s lifetime, just about anyone can experience varicose veins. Millions of adults live with broken or faulty veins, due to a genetic predisposition to vein disorders, carrying excessive weight, as a result of pregnancy, or simply poor circulation of blood in the body.
Regardless of the cause of varicose veins, individuals experience a bulging of the broken vein beneath the skin, along with achiness and itchiness that may be difficult to bear.
Fortunately, many adults with varicose veins have several treatment options, ranging from at-home remedies to minimally invasive medical techniques. For those who opt for the latter, vein treatment can take some time to recover from which causes some trepidation in starting therapy, even when it will ultimately be beneficial.
The winter presents a perfect opportunity to tackle varicose vein treatment and the recovery time that it requires, for a variety of reasons. Here are a few helpful motives for getting varicose vein therapy during the first few months of the year.
Reduced Sun Exposure
While some may consider a lack of sunshine as a downside to the winter months, it is actually a benefit to those who have recently undergone varicose vein treatment. Overexposure to direct sunlight can make the skin’s capillaries restrict, making it difficult to move freely and without discomfort. A lack of blood flow due to this restriction mean varicose veins do not have the ability to heal properly because the blood flow from the legs to the heart is not pumping correctly. Because the winter months can be a bit on the dreary side, this presents an opportunity to stay inside and keep varicose veins away from sunlight.
Ample Down Time
In addition to less sun exposure, individuals who have recently gone through varicose vein treatment have ample opportunities to catch up on rest and relaxation during the winter months. The potential for heavy snowfall, icy conditions, and unbearable cold winds mean staying indoors is expected. It is highly recommended that varicose vein treatment patients focus on resting as much as possible to have a successful recovery. This may include periods of elevating the legs and feet, as well as reducing the amount of time spent doing normal physical activities or exercising. With all the weather factors impacting the winter, those who have recently had varicose vein treatment can take advantage of staying in one, warm place.
Comfort with Compression
The weather during the winter also gives individuals who have undergone varicose vein treatment an opportunity to heal in more comfortable conditions. Compression stockings are often prescribed as part of the recovery process, as they encourage adequate blood flow from the legs to the heart. But compression stockings can be uncomfortable as they are heavy and produce some natural heat. The cooler temperatures in the winter help offset this discomfort, meaning individuals may follow through with wearing compression stockings as they are recommended.
Tips for Healthy Veins
Not everyone plans to take on varicose vein treatment, even with the benefits of doing so during the winter. However, there are several ways to maintain the health of the veins without full on treatment. Eddie Chaloner, vein specialist with Radiance Vein Clinic in the UK, explains that although the occurrence of varicose veins is not in itself unavoidable, focusing on improving blood flow through simple steps can be beneficial in reducing the impact varicose veins have on one’s life and activity level. Although the winter may make it difficult to muster the motivation to exercise, Chaloner states that the healthy blood flow necessary to keep veins working properly comes from light physical activity. Similarly, elevating the legs a few times throughout each day, or getting a walk in after a long period of sitting or standing are beneficial in maintaining circulation in the veins. Each of this small tasks can make all the difference in keeping varicose veins manageable.
The cold temperatures that bode well for rest and relaxation, the comfort of at-home remedies like compression stockings, and the ability to avoid direct exposure to sunlight all come together to make the winter the prime time for varicose vein treatment recovery. Individuals who opt for varicose vein treatment should follow their medical provider’s recommendations on how best to heal to ensure the most successful outcome for their varicose veins now and in the future.