Varicose veins, micro varicose veins or spider veins affect both men and women, but especially women, as a result of a number of factors that are not entirely due to pure chance!
Why do varicose veins appear?
A sedentary lifestyle, obesity, prolonged standing, pregnancy, menopause, age and also genetic predisposition are factors that can contribute to the development of varicose veins.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are dilations of the superficial venous system, a consequence of what is called lower extremities venous insufficiency. This insufficiency is usually due to an alteration of the vascular wall or the venous valves, which are located inside the veins and allow a correct upward blood flow to the heart. When these valves fail, the blood flow is reversed (it flows backwards), blood is blocked and the pressure increases, thus dilating the veins of the affected area and causing the appearance of varicose veins and micro veins that try to decrease the pressure of the system.
If dilations occur in the most superficial venous plexus (groups of veins), their impact is mainly aesthetic and may result in telangiectasias (spider veins) or reticular veins.
Classification of varicose veins
According to their stage we find different types of varicose veins:
TELANGIECTASIAS: permanent dilatation of intradermal venules (within the skin), red o purple coloured, which can measure up to 1 mm. They are an aesthetic issue and do not show any symptoms.
RETICULAR VARICOSE VEINS: blue or green coloured subdermal veins, ranging in size from 1 to 3 mm. They can cause discomfort such as tiredness or heavy legs.
TRUNCAL VARICOSE VEINS: dilated, tortuous and bulging veins. They are deeper veins, at subcutaneous level, with a caliber greater than 3 mm. They may cause itching, tingling, cramping, swelling, or changes in skin colour.
Venous dilations greater than 2 mm should be evaluated by a vascular surgeon or phlebologist.
How can we remove these unsightly veins?
They can be removed through chemical sclerosis or sclerotherapy, consisting of the injection of a substance into the varicose vessel which causes its cancellation and the subsequent reabsorption (by the organism itself) of the vessel's path.
It is an effective, safe and virtually painless treatment.
The substance we use at Clínica Áureo is Etoxisclerol® (lauromacrogol), which we apply in weekly sessions, usually alternating both legs, so that each time the treatment is only applied in one of them. The number of sessions required depends on each patient.
Contraindications and possible adverse effects
Chemical sclerosis is a very safe treatment, but due to needle puncture in the vessel to be treated, hematomas may appear, in addition to a transient inflammation in the area due to the effect of the sclerosing substance.
Small hyperpigmentations may rarely occur, which can be recurrent due to the recanalisation of the treated vessel, formation of new blood vessels, or other factors such as matting (sudden appearance of a network of red thin capillaries).
Other local alterations may include phlebitis, intravaricous thrombus (small clots), or skin edema.
Contraindications for this treatment are:
• Hypersensitivity to sclerosing agent.
• History of deep vein thrombosis or thromboembolism.
• Cardiovascular problems.
• Thrombophilias or other clotting problems.
• Acute infections.
• Bronchial asthma.
• Old age.
What guidelines should be followed after treating the varicose veins?
After the treatment, we recommend you to keep a cotton compression dressing for a few hours and to wear compressive stockings for at least 3 days.
You can return to normal life, avoiding hot baths and intense physical exercise within 48 hours of the session. It is also not recommended to travel long distances by plane or other means within that recommended time period.
Sun or UVA exposure should be avoided within 15 days, so it is recommended to have this treatment after the summer.
And last but not least, what measures can I take to prevent the appearance of varicose veins?
• Avoid overweight.
• Adopt good eating habits.
• Practice physical exercise.
• Avoid prolonged standing or sitting periods.
• Use compression stockings.
• Massages and lymphatic drains.
• Elevate your feet above your heart.
• Avoid heat sources and keep your legs cool.
• Wear appropriate footwear, respecting normal foot dynamics.
Varicose veins are a health problem THAT WILL NOT improve over time (on the contrary, it may worsen), so we recommend you to pay close attention to them and take good care of them.
If you have any questions and/or need more information, please contact us. Or better yet: if you live or travel to Mallorca, come and visit us!