Can Spider Veins Get Worse in The Summer?

Legs crossed of young woman resting by swimming pool. Summertime is when we all want to get outside, let our skin breathe, and have fun. When you have spider veins, it can make you self-conscious of your appearance, ruin your self-esteem and keep you from enjoying social functions.

Understanding what causes spider veins and how to treat them is crucial to enjoying the rest of your summer. 

Here is how spider veins are affected by the sun and what you can do to treat them.

What Causes Spider Veins?

To many people, spider veins seem like just a part of aging. While age is a factor in developing spider veins, it is just one of several factors that can cause them. The most common cause of spider veins comes from malfunctioning valves in your leg veins or weakened blood vessel walls. Faulty valves compromise blood flow, causing blood to flow back to your legs instead of to the heart and the rest of the body.

The backflow causes blood to pool in your veins and rise to the top of your skin as spider veins.

Other reasons people get spider veins include

  • Sitting or standing for long periods
  • Trauma to the skin
  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy

How the Sun Affects Spider Veins

The heat from the sun causes veins to dilate and become uncomfortable. Along with the unsightly appearance, the sun can worsen symptoms such as pain, itchiness, tingling, or heaviness in the legs. Also, over-exposure to the sun can break down collagen in the skin, which can make the skin less elastic and increase the appearance of spider veins. Some people try to tan with the intention of trying to disguise spider veins, but staying in the sun too long can make them worse. If you’re trying to head outside, take precautions to not make the situation worse by applying SPF 50+ sunscreen and reapplying often.

Treating Spider Veins

There are several things you can do to manage spider veins. For instance, compression clothing, elevating your legs, and staying active can help bring some relief. Sometimes, these methods aren’t always enough for long-term relief.

Procedures like sclerotherapy or endovenous laser treatment can help you get rid of spider veins.

If you have spider veins and want to learn more about your treatment options, call Metropolitan Vascular Institute. Schedule an appointment with our Waldorf office at (301) 374-8540.

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