How Sun Exposure Effects your Veins


Most people understand the importance of remembering to put on sunscreen. Sunscreen can prevent UVA and UVB rays from damaging the skin, aging the skin or causing cancer.  Wrinkles or dark spots from the sun usually come to mind, but what many people don’t think about how sun exposure can sprout up some spider veins on the nose or cause a current vein disease in the body to get worse. With people currently flocking to the beach for the season, it’s good to know the best ways to protect oneself from the sun whether it’s on a beach or golf course, or even taking an afternoon stroll.

Can the Sun Cause Varicose and Spider Veins?

The sun can cause spider veins, but does not cause varicose veins. In fact, many people tan to try to hide the appearance of their spider veins, which can temporarily work; however, sun exposure itself ultimately can cause the spider veins to appear in the first place, so tanning would be counterproductive.  The sun can cause spider veins by breaking down collagen under the skin and blood vessels right beneath the surface of the skin. The sun’s exposure causes the veins to pop up on noses and cheeks, often on fair-skinned people, which can receive more sun than other parts of the body.

Varicose veins cannot be created by the sun, but the diseased veins can worsen in the heat. The heat from the sun can cause the veins to dilate, enlarge which causes venous distention. Venous distention is when the veins swell because they are filled with more blood than there should be flowing through the veins. With the increase of blood, the veins will grow larger in size and most likely hurt more.

Should Sun Exposure Be Avoided?

No, but people with spider or varicose veins or those who have recently received vein removal treatment should properly protect their skin from sun exposure. Doctors recommend that people who have undergone vein treatment surgery should remain out of the sun anywhere from three to eight weeks, or even longer, depending on the specific treatment – the more you wait the better. The sun’s rays can cause pigment changes in the skin that can take longer to get back to normal. Once the doctor gives the OK for the treated area to be exposed to the sun, a patient should apply sunscreen to the area to protect the skin.

When Is Best to Get Veins Treated?

The cooler months can be the best time to get skin looking great and healthy for the summer. Most people don’t think of their veins during the fall and winter months, because skin is covered with layers of clothing, but it can make life a lot easier to get problems fixed before the nice weather returns. Here are a few reasons to get treated in cooler months:

  1. Veins might require more than one treatment, so there is plenty of months to be ready for the warmer weather.
  2. Many doctors recommend using compression hosiery before and after varicose vein procedures. These stockings are easier to wear or hide in cooler months.
  3. Veins can worsen in winter months from inactivity.

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