Varicose veins can develop through a combination of weakened vein walls and faulty valves. Under a variety of circumstances, normally toned, elastic vein walls can become weak and allow the recirculating blood that should be moving toward your heart to flow backward. One-way valves in these veins – which open and enable blood to flow through on its way upward, then close to stop blood from flowing backward – can also fail to function properly. This allows blood to pool and pressure to build up, which further weakens and subsequently damages the veins, causing them to become twisted, enlarged and painful. Up to 40% of women and 25% of men are affected by this condition – fortunately, treatment is available.
Spider Veins (Telangiectasia)
Telangiectasia is a condition that causes red, threadlike patterns on your skin. Because these patterns (telangiectases) often occur in weblike clusters, they are commonly known as spider veins. These patterns usually occur on the legs, face, and other parts of the body that are easily seen.
While generally benign, spider veins can cause discomfort, such as itching and pain, and embarrassment for those who think they are unsightly. Only in very rare cases are spider veins a sign of something worse. Spider veins are usually removed by sclerotherapy, which is the injection of a chemical into the vein. The chemical causes the vein to shut down and be reabsorbed by the body, reducing the red marks or patterns on the skin.