Ah, summer—the season of sunshine, warm temps, longer daylight hours, school break, and a well deserved vacation. It’s no wonder so many people eagerly await its arrival. Studies show that 40% of people say summer is the season they anticipate the most, with more than three in five wishing summer lasted longer.

If we had to guess, many of the people who would rather skip past summer are those who suffer from varicose veins. In the summer months, pants are swapped for shorts, putting these bulging, blue, or purple-looking veins on display, which makes many people self-conscious.

This insecurity often leads many people to keep their legs covered and suffer through the heat or even avoid summer fun altogether if it requires wearing shorts or a swimsuit. We always hate to hear stories like this.

If you have varicose veins, there is no need to dread summer or stay covered up. There are several modern varicose vein treatments available that can provide relief from varicose veins. Many of these varicose vein solutions have you in and out of the office quickly and can offer relatively instant results, getting you summer ready in no time!

If you are sick of hiding your legs and want to have summer leg confidence, you are in the right place. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step solution to ending the pain and embarrassment often caused by varicose veins.

Step One: Determine If Your Veins are Varicose Veins or Spider Veins

First things first… you need to determine if the veins you see on your legs are varicose veins or spider veins. Many people confuse varicose veins with spider veins because they can look similar, but there are definitely differences between the two.

Varicose veins are larger, bulging veins that are usually blue or purple and often twist and protrude from the skin’s surface. They don’t always cause significant pain, but most people with varicose veins do have some level of discomfort, heaviness, and swelling in the legs.

Spider veins are smaller, web-like veins that may be red, blue, or purple and are closer to the skin’s surface. They don’t bulge or twist like varicose veins and are usually considered a cosmetic concern, not a medical concern.

Spider veins rarely cause pain or discomfort. In fact, if you assume the veins on your legs are spider veins and you’re experiencing discomfort, that is a red flag that there could be a deeper issue like venous insufficiency. What might initially appear as spider veins could actually be the development of varicose veins.

If you are unsure if your veins are varicose veins or spider veins, a vein specialist will easily be able to provide you with a correct diagnosis. During a quick consultation, they will carefully examine your veins, discuss your symptoms and medical history, and potentially run other diagnostic tests.

Once a diagnosis of varicose veins is made, the vascular specialist can then recommend appropriate treatment options to achieve healthier, more confident legs. If you want to learn more about varicose veins, read Varicose Veins: Frequently Asked Questions.

If you see veins on your legs, you should get them looked at by a vein specialist as soon as possible. While spider veins often do not require treatment, if the veins on your legs are varicose veins it is important that you treat them promptly. Left untreated, varicose veins can lead to serious issues such as leg ulcers, blood clots, or deep vein thrombosis.

Step Two: Make Lifestyle Changes to Improve Vein Health

If you have veins on your legs, while waiting for your consultation or varicose vein treatment, it would help to start making lifestyle changes that promote better vein health. Your vein specialist will likely recommend these changes anyway, so why not get a head start?

These simple lifestyle changes will support the effectiveness of your treatment plan, improve the overall condition of your legs, and prevent further complications. Some lifestyle changes that your doctor may suggest for varicose veins include:

Regular Exercise

Engaging in low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, yoga, or cycling can improve circulation and strengthen the muscles that support your veins. If you are able, resistance training is also an excellent option to improve vascular health.

Adopt a Healthy Diet

To have strong, resilient veins, you should avoid sugary and processed foods and eat a well-balanced diet rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins.

Some examples of foods that fall into these categories are whole grains, kidney beans, nuts, seeds, berries, citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, artichokes, and even small portions of dark chocolate. Additionally, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess weight can put added pressure on your veins, making varicose vein symptoms worse. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce strain on your veins and improve blood flow.

Elevate Your Legs

Elevating your legs above heart level for short periods throughout the day can help alleviate swelling and discomfort associated with varicose veins.

Avoid Prolonged Sitting or Standing

Sitting or standing for long periods without breaks can negatively impact blood circulation and contribute to varicose vein development. Take regular breaks to stretch your legs and avoid staying in one position for too long.

Wear Compression Stockings

Compression stockings apply gentle pressure to your legs, helping to improve blood flow and alleviate symptoms of varicose veins. Your doctor may recommend wearing compression stockings during the day, especially if you have a job that requires prolonged sitting or standing.

Practice Good Skincare

Keeping your skin clean and moisturized can help prevent complications such as skin ulcers and infections associated with varicose veins. Additionally, don’t forget to apply sunscreen daily.

Excessive sun exposure can weaken the skin and lead to vascular issues.

Step Three: Research Your Varicose Vein Treatment Options

After your consultation with a vein specialist, you will have a better understanding of the severity of your varicose veins and all of your available treatment options. You should take the time to research these options carefully to determine which vein solution is best for you.

Here are some of the most common surgical and non-surgical treatments for varicose veins that your vein doctor might suggest:

Non-Surgical Varicose Vein Solutions for Summer Leg Confidence

If at all possible, we recommend our patients take advantage of modern non-surgical varicose vein treatments. These treatments are typically out-patient, do not require anesthesia, require little to no downtime, and offer quick results.

Endovenous Laser Ablation

A popular non-surgical varicose vein solution for people suffering with medium to large varicose veins is endovenous laser ablation. This is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia, meaning you can undergo treatment without being hospitalized.

The procedure involves inserting a laser fiber into the affected vein and then emitting heat to seal it shut. This redirects blood flow to healthier veins, improving circulation and reducing discomfort associated with varicose veins.

Most people experience minimal downtime and can go back to normal activities within just one day. Symptom improvement and vein appearance should improve within just a few weeks.


Another really popular vein treatment for those with small to medium-sized varicose veins is sclerotherapy. During this procedure, a special solution is injected into the vein, causing it to collapse and fade over time.

Visible improvement usually occurs within just a few weeks as treated veins gradually disappear. While multiple sessions may be necessary depending on the extent of the veins, there really isn’t much downtime. However, you will likely need to wear compression stockings for a brief period following each session.

Sclerotherapy is also the go-to treatment for spider veins.

Radiofrequency Ablation

For those with larger varicose veins causing symptoms, the most common non-surgical solution is radiofrequency ablation. During this procedure, a catheter is inserted into the vein to emit radiofrequency energy, heating and closing the affected vein.

Radiofrequency ablation is typically performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia, and most people can resume all normal activities within a few days following treatment. You can expect symptom relief and improved vein appearance within only a few weeks.


VenaSeal is one of the newest non-surgical solutions for varicose veins. This cutting-edge varicose vein treatment uses medical adhesive to seal off the affected vein, which sets it apart from traditional vein treatment methods such as laser ablation or sclerotherapy.

VenaSeal is minimally invasive, typically performed in an outpatient setting, and rarely requires general anesthesia. During treatment, a vein specialist applies a medical adhesive directly inside the affected vein. VenaSeal effectively seals the vein shut, preventing further blood flow and leading to the eventual absorption of the treated vein by the body.

There is minimal discomfort during and after the VenaSeal procedure and little to no downtime. Results are typically seen within a few weeks as the sealed vein collapses and is absorbed, leading to symptom relief and improved vein appearance.

Surgical Varicose Vein Treatment Options

While non-invasive options like sclerotherapy and endovenous laser ablation are effective for certain cases, there might be situations where surgery is necessary. Even then, vascular surgery is much more advanced than it used to be.

Here are two of the most common surgeries for varicose veins:


A phlebectomy may be suggested over non-surgical methods if you have larger or more complex varicose veins. A phlebectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of varicose veins through small incisions made directly over the affected area. It is typically performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting, which means you should be able to go home on the same day as the procedure.

Even though it is considered a surgical varicose vein treatment, most patients can resume strenuous activity within a week. Visual improvements in vein appearance and alleviation of symptoms such as pain, swelling, and discomfort are typically noticed very shortly after the procedure.


Microphlebectomy is a specific type of phlebectomy that uses an even smaller incision than traditional phlebectomy, often no larger than a few millimeters in size.

This type of phlebectomy is typically suggested for smaller varicose veins that might be too complex for a non-surgical varicose vein solution. It can also be used for larger veins, but it may depend on the specific characteristics of the veins and the patient’s individual circumstances.

Like a traditional phlebectomy, there is minimal scarring and discomfort, very little downtime, and both visual improvements and symptom improvement can be expected soon after treatment.

If you want to learn more about varicose vein treatment options, this article, “Vein Pain: Solutions for Varicose Veins, is a great read.

Step Four: Contact Your Insurance Company

Depending on your insurance plan and the medical necessity of the procedure, varicose vein treatment, both surgical and non-surgical, might be covered by your health insurance. To determine if your varicose vein treatment is covered by insurance, you should review your policy and contact your insurance provider.

Additionally, some insurance plans require pre-authorization or a referral from a primary care physician before undergoing treatment. Make sure you ask them about any pre-authorization requirements, as well as specific coverage details, including any out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles or copayments, to avoid unexpected expenses.

Step Five: Book Your Varicose Vein Treatment with a Vein Specialist

After you’ve had a consultation with a vein specialist to determine the best treatment plan for your varicose veins and checked with your insurance company to understand if you will experience out-of-pocket costs, it’s time to book your treatment appointment.

Who you choose to perform your vascular procedure matters. Choosing a qualified and experienced vein specialist is crucial to ensure optimal outcomes.

The Surgical Clinic’s vascular surgery division is staffed with a dozen board-certified, highly skilled vascular surgeons who prioritize minimally invasive procedures. Our vascular surgeons collaborate with each other and with other experts in various medical fields to guarantee our patients receive individualized care.

Click here to find a vascular surgeon near you. 

Step Six: Maintain Healthy Legs After Varicose Vein Treatment

Once your varicose vein treatment or series of treatments is complete, it’s important that you follow all post-procedure instructions and continue with the lifestyle changes outlined above. This will help ensure your legs stay healthy and new varicose veins don’t form.

The three key elements of maintaining healthy legs after varicose vein treatment are:

  • Regular exercise
  • A healthy diet
  • Weight management
  • Maintain good skin care

If you follow all post-procedure guidelines and adopt these healthy lifestyle habits, you can drastically improve your chances of developing varicose veins again in the future.


Varicose veins cause many people to be insecure, especially in the spring and summer months. But you don’t have to hide your leg veins or suffer from discomfort. There are many non-invasive varicose vein solutions that can quickly alleviate symptoms and improve the appearance of your legs.

It’s also important to note that beyond aesthetics, leaving your varicose veins untreated can be dangerous. Untreated varicose veins can lead to complications such as skin ulcers, blood clots, and chronic venous insufficiency.

So, even if you aren’t bothered by the appearance of your varicose veins, you should still seek treatment from a vein specialist to address them before they progress.

Use our “find your surgeon” locator today to book an appointment with an experienced vein surgeon near you.