Varicose veins usually appear on the lower limbs. These occur when some of the veins are constantly dilated and become visible on the surface of the skin. Whether they are inherited or lifestyle-related, varicose veins have a variety of causes. Thanks to cosmetic medicine, they can be effectively treated.
Varicose veins: definition
Our body is made up of a venous system that is divided into two categories:
- The deep venous system that transports around 90 % of the blood around the body
- The superficial venous system that transports around 10 % of the blood around the body. These veins are much finer. When they are located on the top of the thigh, the veins are called internal saphenous veins. When they are located on the calf, they are called external saphenous veins.
The superficial venous system is where varicose veins appear. For example, the veins can dilate after strenuous physical activity. but we are talking about varicose veins that remain dilated long term.
Varicose veins normally appear on the lower limbs and are equally common in both men and women. They occur on the calves, the backs of the knees or the inside thighs.
They can be painful so fortunately, it is now possible to treat them.
Varicose veins: the causes
When the blood stagnates in the legs, the veins dilate, leaving bluish or purplish lines. The veins have mini valves that allow blood to travel in one direction only. Varicose veins appear when the valves lose their firmness and their isolating ability. The blood pools and forms varicose veins.
There are many causes for the appearance of varicose veins on the lower limbs:
- The natural effects of ageing,
- Sitting or standing for long periods, or compression of the venous system caused when you cross your legs,
- During a significant hormonal change, particularly in pregnant or menopausal women,
- When a lot of weight is gained, cellulite makes lymphatic and venous circulation more difficult,
- During exposure to a significant amount of sun or heat, veins tend to dilate.
Varicose veins: the treatments
If the varicose veins are fine, so less than 0.3 mm in diameter, they can be treated using a laser. The principle of this treatment is to project a laser onto the varicose veins in order to disintegrate the walls of the veins. Several lasers are suitable for this treatment, such as the Cynosure Icon, ND Yag laser or V-Beam laser. After the session, the varicose veins disappear gradually. Multiple sessions are needed to obtain a satisfactory result.
ThermaVein™ is another possible technique. It involves collapsing the walls of the veins with a very low current (4MHz) without any pain or scarring. A 0.75 mm probe targets the venous wall. Three to four sessions are required for the legs.
ThermaVein™ only treats red varicose veins. For the other types, sclerotherapy is recommended instead.
For more prominent varicose veins, the best treatment is microsclerosis. This is a treatment that uses a needle to inject a liquid that causes sclerosis into the veins to thicken the walls of the veins and dissipate the blood. You may experience a pricking sensation during the injection. However, this type of treatment goes beyond the field of aesthetics and it is necessary to consult a phlebologist.
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