Varicose veins are large, swollen, twisted veins, dark blue or purple in color, that often appear on the legs and feet. They occur when the valves in the veins do not work properly, so the blood does not flow effectively. In some cases it is only an aesthetic concern. However, many people experience painful symptoms such as swelling, throbbing, burning, itching, cramping, or a heavy, achy feeling in the legs or feet. In some cases, patients experiencing these symptoms may not have any visible varicose veins. The diseased veins can occur deep under the skin, invisible to the naked eye.
Spider veins occur when tiny veins dilate below the surface of the skin, causing red, blue or purple discolorations. They are most common on the thighs, ankles and calves, and are more common in women than men. Spider veins are also more common with age – by age 70, approximately 70% of the population will be affected. The cause isn’t completely understood in every case, but heredity plays a major role. Some cases are related to pregnancy, use of birth control pills or weight gain. People whose work requires them to stand for long periods of time are also at higher risk.
A venous ulcer is an open sore that occurs on the legs when blood is not being pushed back to the heart the way it should. Blood remains in the veins, resulting in pressure buildup inside. The liquid part of blood is pushed out of the vein causing edema (swelling) and poor tissue nutrition. When left untreated, the excess fluid causes the skin to break and an open sore forms. The ulcer often can become infected and require frequent visits to a doctor’s office. Ulcers are usually preceded by leg swelling and skin changes such as a redness and a thickening of the skin.
Facial Veins, Hand Veins and More
At Advanced Vein Center, we have expertise in treating veins on the face, hands, and other parts of the body. On the face, the two types of facial veins most often treated are smaller spider veins and larger reticular veins. Spider veins usually appear as fine irregular red lines on the nose, cheeks and the side of the face. The larger reticular veins appear greenish-blue in color and can be 2-3 mm in diameter. They are most often found along the cheekbone under the eye and at the temple areas. On the hands, veins are usually not diseased but can become more visible as the skin relaxes and thins with age. They can be easily injured as the skin becomes more fragile. We offer a number of highly effective treatments for these and other types of visible veins.