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How does the season/temperature affect varicose veins?

I have had varicose veins for awhile and I noticed that they ache less during the summer, and bother me the most during the winter. Is this lessened discomfort really due to the weather? How does the season/temperature affect veins? Does sun exposure help varicose veins?

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Doctors Answers (7)

Seasonal differences are usually related to changes in activity level, with most people being more active in the summer and less active in the winter. Exposure to the sun or heat does not benefit varicose veins.

This is an interesting question. I honestly do not know if there is a seasonal variability. There is a quite a bit of daily variability in symptoms depending on activity; the more you are on your feet, especially in a relatively stationary way, the more the legs hurt.

Temperature effect on how legs with varicose veins feel varies from person to person. I have patients who feel worse in the summer (possible due to dilatation of veins) and others who suffer more in the colder months. We do not advise sun exposure for any reason because of the increased risks of skin cancer and aging effects. It does not improve the appearance or resolution of varicose veins. I would recommend seeking an evaluation from a Board Certified Surgeon who is vascular trained and specializes in treating these problems. In most cases there is underlying vein reflux as a cause and there are minimally invasive treatments. With symptoms, insurance should cover procedures.

I am not aware of any documented effect that weather, ambient temperature, humidity, or season has on varicose veins or their symptoms aside from hot weather generating more complaints of ankle swelling. Sun exposure has no effect on varicose veins.

Not sure why that happens. I see the opposite as well.

I doubt that the season has much to do with varicose vein symptoms. Changes in activity levels may be the factor. Varicose veins usually are more symptomatic with prolonged sitting or standing, and less symptomatic with physical activity such as walking.

I am not aware of any physiologic changes brought on by the weather; sun does not affect varicose veins.

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