Dressing Up Is Back: Summer Fashion Trends that Help Alleviate Varicose Vein Swelling

People with varicose veins find form-fitting clothing to aggravate their condition during warm weather. Medical expert at Nordesthetics Clinic, one of the leading medical tourism clinics in Europe, advises against tight cuts and offers looking into loose and stretchy materials and silhouettes to avoid additional constraints on legs.

Although many chose athleisure as a staple for the COVID-19 lockdowns, luxury clothing has made a comeback with brands such as Gucci boosting sales by over 20%. This suggests that people are ready to dress up and go out, especially now in the summer. However, the transition from loose, comfortable clothing to more restricting cuts may prove challenging for people suffering from varicose veins.

Varicose vein condition—enlarged and twisted superficial vessels typically occurring in lower limbs—is often exacerbated by the summer heat waves, causing intense swelling, soreness, and discomfort. Nevertheless, some upcoming summer trends of 2021 show that people with varicose veins should not compromise on more elegant clothing for fear of suffering more in summertime.

Wide Cuts

One of this season’s fashion trends, wide-leg pants and flare jeans may actually work in favour of those with varicose veins. As the cut is loose around the calves, the heat-induced swelling will not be as uncomfortable in comparison to form-fitting trousers.

“Warm temperatures force veins to expand and weaken the vein valves. For this reason, blood cannot circulate properly, causing swelling in the legs,” said Linas Velička, phlebologist and vascular surgeon at Nordesthetics Clinic, one of the leading medical tourism clinics in Europe. “Form-fitting clothes put more pressure on the calves, causing more discomfort for people who have varicose vein condition. So it is better to avoid anything that constricts movements and cuts off blood circulation in order to reduce the potential discomfort.”

Boots Below Ankle

Even though fashion experts suggest the summer 2021 is all about knee high boots, this is not something people with varicose veins are advised to wear. Similar to skinny pants, knee high boots restrain the sensitive area as they do not leave more room for swollen calves. Instead, footwear below the ankle, that does not press the legs, would suit those with the condition even in the hottest temperatures.

Lightweight Materials

As heavy, non-stretchy materials do not work well with summer heat for those with varicose veins, the currently trendy floaty summer dresses provide the comfort needed to engage in summer activities. In the surgeon’s opinion, any lightweight materials help to avoid overheating the varicose vein-afflicted areas.

“Since summer heat puts additional strain on varicose vein swelling, it is a good idea to try to keep the lower limbs relatively cool,” added Dr Velicka. “Besides, lightweight materials not only help to avoid an overheat but they also provide more comfort in maintaining an active lifestyle, which is actually essential for reducing varicose vein swelling or soreness.”

Long-Term Measures

According to Dr Velicka, although appropriate clothing items might somewhat alleviate varicose vein symptoms during the summer, these are only temporary solutions that hold off the issue rather than fix it.

“However comfortable they might be at the moment, clothing will not cure varicose veins. Medical measures, such as compression socks or surgical intervention, are needed for long-term results,” said the surgeon. “Since varicose veins come with a range of discomforts, such as aching, burning sensation, muscle cramps, and even dry skin, it is best to treat the condition, so that people can enjoy their summer activities no matter what they are wearing.”

Nordesthetics Clinic has approximately 2.000 patients per year, 90% being medical tourists mainly from Northern Europe. Clinic reports that patients aged 30-40 tend to choose surgery for varicose veins. The patients are also offered logistical support and personal assistance, including transfer from/to airport service.