By Lynne Adkins

by Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you have varicose veins, you know how uncomfortable they can be, and the cold temperatures can make things worse.

Winter can be a pain for anyone with varicose veins, according to Dr. Charles Dietzek, Medical Director of the Vein and Vascular Institute in Voorhees.

One reason is our skin gets so dry.

“During these winter months, if we start scratching at our skin we can cause these veins to break which can cause significant bleeding episodes. The other problem in the winter is we tend to be more sedentary, but in addition we tend to eat more and put on more weight,” said Dr. Dietzek.

He says exercise and a healthy weight are important to maintain good vein health.

He suggests if weather is an issue, a good walk up and down stairs and around the house, and to do heel lifts and toe curls when sitting.

If the veins become painful, see a doctor.