Tips for beautiful and healthy legs in summer
Especially in summer many women and men get problems with their legs. Many are all too aware of heavy swollen legs from their own experience. The reason for this – vein problems, which are only exacerbated by the heat. Almost one out of three people is affected and suffers from the warm season. In this article, I would like to explain how vein problems manifest themselves and how you can take action against them.
Where do vein problems come from?
First of all, let us look into the question of how vein problems develop in the first place. On the one hand, of course, a genetic predisposition can be to blame. On the other though, the connective tissue can be weakened by hormones, as can be the case, for example, when taking hormonal contraceptives or during pregnancy. Lack of exercise and the resulting lack of venous support from the muscle pump can also be a risk factor.
As a result, the pressure of the blood on the vein walls increases, causing them to overstretch and the vein valves to no longer close properly. As a result, blood can no longer be transported back to the heart in an optimal fashion resulting in blood congestion. The venous vessels consequently become increasingly permeable and fluid leaks into the tissue – that typical water retention in the legs is the consequence.
What do vein problems look like?
Vein problems can manifest themselves in a variety of symptoms and not everyone experiences all of them. Most patients complain of swollen feet, pulling pain in the legs and heavy legs, especially in summer. However, cosmetically disturbing spider veins, skin changes in the ankle area (dry, scaly eczema and discolouration) and clearly protruding varicose veins (mostly on the lower legs) are also among the most common complaints.
Cosmetically disturbing spider veins
In some cases, however, there are no real complaints at all but only superficial, cosmetically disturbing dilated vessels. These are called spider veins.
Spider veins are closed or glued in one to three treatments, sometimes with foam sclerotherapy or with a laser. It is important that these treatments are performed before or after summer. Patients need light support stockings for one to three days afterwards and after about four to six weeks the skin appearance on the legs should be visibly improved, usually by 60–90%.
Vein problems – more than just a blemish
Vein problems should not be taken lightly because the effects are not merely visual. It is important to make an appointment with a specialist who will use a special ultrasound examination to check the efficiency and function of the vessels in the legs. This is especially important because, in a poorly functioning venous system, the risk of thrombosis is significantly increased (pulmonary embolism as a risk factor!).
Tips for your summer with healthy and beautiful legs – what can I do myself?
Many of my patients with venous insufficiency ask me how they can get through the summer in the best possible way and with as few complaints as possible. I am happy to give the following tips:
- Make sure you get enough exercise! Especially if you have an office job or sit a lot in your daily life, it is important to get up every now and then and walk a few steps – even if it is only to the kitchen to get a glass of water. While sitting, also keep moving your toes up and down if you don’t have the chance to stand up.
- Keep your legs stretched out rather than bent when sitting!
- Keep your legs elevated at home!
External and internal applications
- Treat yourself to hot and cold alternating showers! This ensures that the vessels contract and the legs are less heavy. It is important that you stop with a cold shower.
- Cold showers in between also have a good effect. Unfortunately, these are usually hard to dot at the office. Here, alternatively, you can put an ice cube on your ankle.
- Epsom salt bath: bathe your feet in a tub of lukewarm water with half a cup of Epsom salts for about 10–15 minutes. This will reduce swelling.
- Drink dandelion tea or lemon water! Both reduce swelling and tone the veins, plus they have a mild anti-inflammatory effect. Add a teaspoon of fresh or dried dandelion leaves to a cup of hot water or two tablespoons of lemon juice to lukewarm water.
- Apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium which helps to regulate the fluid balance in the cells. Mix one cup of organic apple cider vinegar with one cup of cold water, soak a cloth with it and wrap the swollen feet/legs for ten minutes. This can be repeated several times a day.
For long flights and vein problems, be sure to use support stockings as prescribed by your doctor! For short flights or even in the office, firmer stockings with 30–50 den are recommended – even if they cost a bit of effort in summer.
In drugstores, pharmacies and on the Internet there are many different products with plant ingredients. However, I often miss a sufficient care component in addition to vascular substances because leg problems always cause local skin problems in the short or long term!
In our leg active gel, we have tried to combine highly efficient active ingredients that protect the vessels with valuable care substances. The natural extracts of horse chestnut, tiger grass, butcher’s broom, ivy and red vine leaves have a vascular sealing and decongestant effect and strengthen the connective tissue and the vessels of the legs. Allantoin nourishes and moisturises the skin. Natural essential oils additionally provide a smooth, supple feeling after application.
Light feet all summer long
Vein problems are a burden for many of us, especially in summer. However, there is usually more behind them than a purely cosmetic problem. If you suffer from vein problems, you should arrange an appointment with a specialist right away. Until then, you can get through the summer light-footed with our leg active gel.
Dr. Sabine Schwarz