The most common venous conditions are spider and varicose veins, however both can lead to much more serious conditions, including blood clots that form in the superficial and deep veins (aka Superficial and Deep Vein Thrombosis). Spider and Varicose veins can also be a sign of Chronic Venous Insufficiency. Because spider and varicose veins are the most common venous disorders, we will focus on them here; however you can learn more about Superficial and Deep Vein Thrombosis and Chronic Venous Insufficiency in the book Healthy Veins…Healthy Legs or by talking to a vein care specialist.
Vein disorders are not always visible; diagnostic techniques are important tools in determining the cause and severity of the problem. If you’re worried about a possible venous disorder, you should seek professional medical advice from a vein care specialist.
Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
If the valves of the veins don’t function well, blood doesn’t flow efficiently, and the veins become enlarged because they are congested with blood. These enlarged veins are commonly called spider veins or varicose veins. Spider veins are small red, blue or purple veins on the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are larger, distended veins that are located somewhat deeper than spider veins. Learn more about the causes of venous disorders.
Aside from an undesirable cosmetic appearance, frequent symptoms of venous disorders include leg pain, throbbing, burning, fatigue, restlessness. Severe varicose veins can compromise the nutrition of the skin and lead to eczema, inflammation, intense itching or even ulceration of the lower leg. In serious cases, most often in elderly patients, vein rupture and bleeding can also occur. Symptoms are often made worse by prolonged standing, sitting, or lying down. The severity of your symptoms will vary based on the severity of the condition. You can learn about the treatment options for the various symptoms.