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Can Too Much Sun Cause Vein-Related Problems?

While sunny, warm weather can improve your frame of mind, too much sun exposure can negatively affect your varicose and spider veins.  

We all know that ultraviolet rays can lead to sun damage and increased risk of skin cancer. It can also worsen vein conditions and even cause new venous issues. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid spending time outside, but it’s important to know the risks of sun exposure and how to properly protect your veins. 

In general, varicose and spider veins are results of poor circulation between the heart and the legs, which creates visibly uncomfortable veins. Warmer temperatures can aggravate these conditions, causing veins to dilate, enlarge, and distend even further. This can also worsen the swelling and associated discomfort. 

If you don’t already have varicose veins, you probably won’t develop them from spending too much time in the sun. However, prolonged exposure to sunlight can sometimes cause spider veins to appear. Spider veins are a close relative of varicose veins, which usually appear as red or blue spindly lines running along the skin. Overexposure to the sun can break down the collagen in your skin and weaken the blood vessels. As a result, the skin can become less elastic. As it does so, the tissues become weaker, making it easier for spider veins to emerge. Some people tan with the intention of hiding spider veins, but it can actually make them more conspicuous and lead to other issues in the long term.  

What can you do? 

  • Avoid clothing that exposes excessive amounts of skin and always wear a good quality wide-brimmed hat.  
  • Apply SPF 50+ sunscreen 15 minutes before you head outside and reapply every two hours including your feet, legs, ears and top of the head.  

Treatments for varicose veins have come a long way since the days of vein stripping, which used to require a hospital stay, general anesthesia, and an often painful recovery time. At the We’re So Vain vein clinic in New London, Connecticut, board-certified surgeon Dr. Gregory Azia treats varicose and spider veins with new technologies like sclerotherapy, which uses a medication injected into the affected veins to seal them off.  

Dr. Azia frequently sees patients who had reoccurring vein problems after receiving aesthetic spider vein and varicose procedures from other physicians who were not vein specialists or capable of detecting or treating an underlying venous pathology. All too often, he sees patients who have been incorrectly diagnosed and treated for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) when their problem was caused by an underlying venous problem. Dr. Azia and his highly-trained team at We’re So Vain will accurately diagnose and provide appropriate treatment through quick, less invasive, and relatively painless office procedures. 

After being treated by Dr. Azia, more than 96% of patients experienced total relief without any adverse effects. All were able to resume their activities in just a few days to a week. Venous disease consultations and treatment procedures are covered by private insurance and Medicare. Give We’re So Vain a call at (860) 443-3202 for your consultation. 

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