Varicose veins and spider veins can manifest in a variety of ways, but most often are evident as swollen, twisting and discoloured veins that are also a source of pain and discomfort. Diagnosis by a professional vein care specialist is simple, fast and effective. Vein care treatments are also extremely effective in eliminating symptoms and repairing troubled areas, what many sufferers may not know is that modern varicose vein treatments are also fast, and do not require lengthy recovery time.

This visual guide shows you what to look for if you think you may have varicose veins or spider veins, and also touches upon available varicose vein treatments.

Moderate Varicose Veins

Varicose veins of moderate intensity are notably visible: they are large in size, bulge conspicuously beneath the skin and typically are a distinctive bluish-purple colour. Moderate varicose veins may initially be a cosmetic problem, but left untreated they can also create more serious health problems.

A varicose vein exam is necessary at this stage to determine if the moderate varicose veins are the result of Chronic Venous Disease, which can have a variety of additional symptoms and lead to more serious health complications.

Moderately developed varicose veins are no longer able to effectively allow blood flow: blood simply pools within the veins and is blocked from returning to the heart, and the body uses alternative circulatory paths to work around the varicose veins. Repairing moderate varicose veins using modern varicose vein treatments, including Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS), restores efficient circulation and improves overall health.

Moderate varicose veins may persist over time and new veins may become blocked. Periodic treatment of new varicose veins is common and provides numerous health and cosmetic benefits.

Severe Varicose Veins

Varicose veins left untreated can create a range of serious health problems, along with an upsetting and disfigured appearance in the affected area. Chronic Venous Disease is a common result of varicose veins in the advanced stages of being left untreated, which can result in a spectrum of conditions including lipodermatosclerosis (thickening of skin and tissues), skin ulcers, hyper pigmentation (skin discolouration) and oedema (severe swelling).

Treatments for severe varicose veins are still very successful, but are more likely to involve repeated treatment sessions and additional maintenance of related conditions.

Severe varicose veins should never be left untreated and diagnosis should be performed by an experienced vein care specialist, who can recommend effective treatment and maintenance procedures.

Spider Veins and Reticular Veins

Spider veins and smaller reticular veins are typically only a cosmetic problem at time of treatment: these are unsightly networks of distinctive blue and red veins near the skin’s surface that may discourage you from wearing shorts during warm weather. They appear most frequently on the legs and face.

Timely spider vein treatment is important because long term spider vein and reticular vein problems can lead to more serious complications, including chronic aching, dermatitis and skin ulcers. Spider veins can be easily and effectively treated using modern varicose vein solutions: unhealthy veins can be eliminated without fuss because the body naturally develops alternative means of supporting healthy blood flow.

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS) are non- or minimally invasive, take only minutes to complete and vastly improve the appearance and health of the affected area. Follow up treatments may be required to realise best results, however spider vein solutions are very effective and lasting.

Many patients endure spider veins and reticular veins as a normal consequence of ageing, but modern treatments allow for fast, simple and very effective treatment. Timely treatment can not only resolve an irritating cosmetic problem, it can also reduce the likelihood of more serious varicose vein complications in the future.

Pregnancy-Related Varicose Veins

Pregnancy causes mothers to produce an extra volume of blood, which can lead to added pressure on blood vessels throughout the body. Pregnancy-related varicose veins are a common complaint and can occur in the legs, pelvic area and even on the vulva. Multiple pregnancies increase the likelihood of suffering from varicose veins.

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) is a serious health problem for all women, most often affecting patients who have had multiple pregnancies. PCS manifests initially as moderate to severe varicose veins in the legs and pelvic area, however these are typically much more painful and debilitating than common varicose veins. Pain may be worse during certain physical activities, around menstrual periods, and during or following intercourse. Additional urinary symptoms may include incontinence and bloating.

Varicose vein treatments are extremely effective in relieving symptoms and discomfort due to pregnancy-related varicose veins or Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy is particularly effective and a regular treatment program can ensure recurrent varicose vein problems result in only temporary discomfort.

Regardless of pregnancy factors, women are more likely to suffer from varicose veins than men. Family history also plays a role in determining likelihood of suffering from varicose veins. Suspected problems should be diagnosed by a vein care specialist to ensure small problems do not develop into something more challenging.