Varicose veins or telangiectasias are small venules of the skin. They present as fine as hairs and are shaped like stars or spiders' legs; they may be blue, violet or red and can become very visible and cosmetically disfiguring.
Venules and telangiectasias of the lower limbs are extremely common. They are linked to hereditary and lifestyle factors (eg. sedentary lifestyle, type of work, pregnancy, age). Venules and telangiectasias do not develop into varicose veins if there is no underlying venous disease, however, they do still have a tendency to grow outwards as time goes by, thus becoming increasingly visible and unsightly. They can sometimes cause a feeling of heaviness in the legs, cramps or oedema.
After a proper clinical examination and a Doppler examination to rule out any underlying venous insufficiency, the venules and varicose veins can be treated with micro-phlebectomies under local anaesthetic or in most cases with sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy consists of using very fine needles to inject a sclerosing product into the unsightly vessels in order to irritate its walls. The local inflammation created then leads to the destruction of the vessel. This technique is simple and effective and is used during the consultation.
The recovery process involves formation of small haematomas which disappear after 2 to 3 weeks and more rarely, localised pigmentations which usually resorb in a few months.
It usually takes 2 to 3 sessions to obtain the best possible aesthetic results. In theory, the treatments of these vessels are permanent, however, we should still point out that this is a disease which can develop insidiously and result in the formation of new varicose veins. We usually recommend 1 or 2 annual top-up sessions.