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Abnormal dilated leg veins will affect about 50% of the population during their lifetime.
Spider veins are fine thread like veins that can be pink or blue in colour.
Reticular veins are larger blue veins that often feed spider veins.
Varicose veins are the largest abnormal veins and tend to bulge above the skin surface.
Symptoms associated with varicose veins, apart from their unsightly cosmetic appearance, can include heaviness, burning, throbbing, swollen ankles, and leg cramps. When varicose veins are severe or long standing they can cause skin rashes, blue veins on the feet, ulcers and scarring. All of these problems will improve with treating the veins.
A definitive cause is not known, however, a strong family history of varicose veins is often a significant factor. Women will often note that their veins worsen with pregnancy or, sometimes, the oral contraceptive pill. Obesity, occupations involving long periods of standing and trauma to the legs can also exacerbate vein problems.
Blood in leg veins normally travels upwards towards the heart. Due to gravity blood tries to flow back towards the feet. In normal veins small valves exist that prevent the backflow of blood towards the feet. It is the breakdown of these valves that causes varicose veins by increasing pressure in the vein and causing the wall to expand.
Varicose veins serve no useful function in the body and the circulatory system works more efficiently if these veins are removed.
It is important to understand that varicose and spider vein development is a progressive condition and that totally new veins can develop over time. Some maintenance treatment is likely for the majority of patients.
We offer treatment for leg veins of all sizes from tiny spider veins to large varicose veins.
Injection micro-sclerotherapy or ‘standard sclerotherapy’ – reserved for the treatment of smaller spider veins and also blue ‘reticular’ veins.
Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS) – reserved for the treatment of bulging varicose veins and larger hidden veins.
Your Doctor will advise you which treatment or combination of treatments is most suitable for you.
Example of varicose veins
Example of reticular veins
Microsclerotherapy – example of spider veins