The Vein Institute. The Premier Varicose Vein Treatment Center on the Upper East Side. Click here for vein screening

How Does Summer Heat Affect Varicose Veins?

How Does Summer Heat Affect Varicose Veins?

Temperatures in the 90s and 100s are being recorded from coast to coast in the United States this summer, and the effects of these heat waves on our collective health can be considerable. While there are obvious threats, such as dehydration and heat stroke, there are lesser known side effects, including exacerbating existing varicose veins.

In this month’s blog post, Dr. Satjit Bhusri and the vascular team here at Upper East Side Cardiology’s Vein Institute, want to focus on the effects that warmer temperatures can have on varicose veins.

Varicose veins at a glance

In order to better understand how heat can have an effect on your varicose veins, it’s important to fully comprehend what’s behind these bulging blood vessels. 

The veins in your legs have, arguably, a harder task than most blood vessels as they’re responsible for delivering blood back to your heart, fighting distance and gravity along the way. To help keep your blood flowing in the right direction, the veins in your legs are equipped with tiny, one-way valves that shut off as blood flows through, preventing the blood from spilling backward.

When you develop varicose veins, it’s due to a weakening in these valves, which allows blood to pool in your veins. When this occurs, the veins engorges and can push toward the surface, thus giving you varicose veins. This issue is incredibly common and affects up to 35% of people in the United States.

Blood vessels and temperatures

When you injure yourself, you’re often instructed to apply an ice pack. The reason for this is that cold temperature causes vasoconstriction (your blood vessels contract), which restricts blood flow to the injured area and reduces swelling.

On the opposite end of this temperature spectrum, when you apply heat to your blood vessels, they relax and open up more.

When you have varicose veins and you’re facing a heat wave, the veins in your legs become looser, which means your valves have to work even harder to keep your blood flowing in the right direction.

As well, if you have existing varicose veins, these veins are closer to the surface of your skin and more exposed to the heat. When these veins dilate due to higher temperatures, they can become uncomfortable.

Tackling varicose veins

If you’re experiencing discomfort this summer due to varicose veins that are responding to the heat, the good news is that we offer several treatments to eliminate these problematic veins. 

Depending on the size and number of veins, we can turn to:

Each of these treatments is highly effective at eliminating varicose veins, making you more comfortable this summer.

To schedule your varicose vein treatment, please contact our New York City office on the Upper East Side.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Care for Restless Legs

You fall into bed exhausted, and you’re looking forward to getting some much-needed rest. However, your legs have other plans, as uncomfortable sensations prompt you to move them around, preventing you from sleeping.

Can Varicose Veins Affect My Sleep?

While most varicose veins aren’t serious, some can become problematic and (*spoiler alert*) can affect how you sleep. Here, we look at how you can get a good night’s rest if varicose veins interfere with your sleep.

What Goes Into Executive Cardiac Health Care?

The stress and time constraints of being an executive can be considerable, which is why you don’t want to skip a beat in your cardiovascular care. Through executive cardiac health care, we have you covered.

Common Causes of Ankle Swelling

You’re noticing that your ankles are less defined and more puffy, and you’re wondering what might be behind the swelling. Well, there are many potential culprits, and we review some of the cardiovascular-related ones here.

The Top 5 Heart Disease Risk Factors

Each year in the United States, at least 200,000 deaths from heart disease or stroke could have been prevented. The first step toward prevention is understanding your risk factors, and we review the most worrisome ones here.