Varicose veins are swollen, dark blue or purple blood vessels that are visible and palpable beneath the skin. They often look like twisted cords, and usually appear on the calves and thighs.
Although people with varicose veins seek cosmetic treatment to conceal their appearance on the legs, treatment often also takes care of the discomfort associated with the condition such as swelling, fatigue, itching and cramps.
Sometimes, however, more significant problems can develop if veins are left untreated. Venous insufficiency
occurs when blood cannot be efficiently returned to the heart. This, in turn, can lead to pigmentation, swelling, inflammation, bleeding
and skin ulcers.
For this reason, patients with varicose veins should be examined by a medical professional familiar with the full spectrum of signs and symptoms caused by chronic venous disease.
Spider veins are caused by a variety of factors, including heredity, pregnancy (and other conditions that involve changes in hormone levels), weight gain, long periods of standing, and certain medications. Spider veins appear as small red, blue, or purple threads easily visible on the surface of the skin, often creating unsightly or unpleasant appearances. Occasionally they cause symptoms such as pain, burning and itching. Spider veins are often considered a cosmetic problem and not a real disease, although in reality they are tied to the same mechanisms involved in varicose veins disease. Spider veins cannot be treated effectively unless problems with high venous pressure is first addressed.