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Five reasons why winter is the best time to get veins treated

Senior man exercising at a  gym.

The autumn and winter months are generally easier on your varicose veins than the heat of the summer. As the weather cools, veins are less likely to dilate, and you may even notice a reduction in swelling. This can provide a bit of relief, however, this won’t last forever, and as soon as the weather begins to warm up, you might notice that your veins start feeling worse in the heat.

Our guide below explains why this time of year is ideal for getting treatment at our hospital, the largest provider in England for varicose vein removal (PHIN 2023).

1. Varicose veins can feel worse in the winter

While cooler temperatures have a soothing effect on varicose veins, our lifestyle choices during the winter period can exacerbate the condition. Periods of inactivity as we stay indoors cosying up on the couch can adversely affect circulation and contribute to discomfort in the veins.

We’re also more likely to crank the central heating and enjoy luxurious soaks in the bath or shower during this time of year. Like hot weather, these habits can increase the swelling of veins.

Moreover, as the festive season approaches, the increased consumption of alcohol and the indulgence in high-fat, high-sugar treats can result in weight gain, posing a potential threat to vein health

2. No more uncomfortable varicose vein symptoms next summer!

If you have varicose veins, you’ll know straight away by their swollen, bulging, blue or dark purple appearance. But you’ll also know due to the symptoms that accompany them such as:

  • Leg muscle cramping
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Uncomfortable, heavy and aching legs

After having minimally invasive Endovenous Laser Treatment, you may still notice some red patches, darkened skin or bruises on your legs for a few weeks while you recover.

Take advantage of the fact that you’re more likely to wear clothes that cover your legs during the winter months, so the healing process can take place beneath long trousers or skirts - making it the ideal time to arrange treatment for your veins.

3. There’s no time like the present

Most patients our Consultant Vascular Surgeon, Mr Sweeney sees have had varicose veins for up to a decade before seeking Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT). It can be tempting to put off treatment, but the sooner you have varicose veins treated, the sooner you can reduce the pain in your legs and return to your day-to-day activities.

4. You can better tolerate bandages or compression stockings

If you do go ahead with varicose veins removal, your Consultant will apply a non-stick bandage or may recommend you wear compression stockings for a few days after the procedure. At this time of year, your legs are less likely to overheat than in the summer and the bandage/stockings will be hidden by longer clothing.

5. Sun exposure can cause skin discoloration

We may miss the warmth during the winter period, but it does make it easier for those undergoing varicose vein treatment to limit sun exposure - which can cause skin discolouration. As you’re wrapped up to protect against the cold, what sunlight there is in winter has very little chance of negatively impacting your skin.

At Benenden Hospital, England’s largest provider of veins removal (PHIN, 2023), we offer minimally invasive, walk-in, walk-out Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) for varicose veins.

Treatment typically takes between 20 and 30 minutes, so you’ll be able to:

  • Go home within an hour
  • Return to work whenever you choose
  • Drive after a few days
  • Get back to gym in two weeks

We also offer Sclerotherapy for smaller varicose veins and spider veins.

Book your initial consultation today or for more information on our varicose vein treatments, complete our online enquiry form, contact us using Livechat or call our Private Patient Team on 01580 363158.

Published on 01 November 2023