Types of problems
Spider veins are little red or bluish veins underneath skin surface, 1mm in diameter, from a couple of mm to a couple of cm long. Spider veins are not considered a disease, but mostly an aesthetic and cosmetic problem that can be solved by a whole range of treatments. However, they may also be a sign that deep veins are enlarged.
Varicose veins are enlarged veins underneath skin surface, 3 mm or more in diameter. They develop due to veins enlargement, when vein venous valves are unable to close completely and blood collects in the veins. Compared to harmless spider veins, enlarged veins are a serious condition and if left untreated can have serious consequences such as inflammation of veins, chronic venous insufficiency, thrombosis and the like.
Therefore, it is important to react on time and with adequate treatment,although prevention is the best and the most effective solution.
Thrombosis is the most frequent vascular disease. A thromb is a blood clot that develops on the vein walls and creates an obstruction to blood flow, the venous valves loosen and blood collects in the vein. Most often, these clots appear in the deep veins of the legs and pelvis.
The symptoms include sudden pain in the calves, swollen feet or heavy and uncomfortable legs. If thrombosis is suspected, it is important to react fast and visit the doctor, as the thromb may break loose and cause pulmonary embolism. The risk factors for the development of thrombosis are prolonged sitting, particularly during travel (overseas flights), varicose veins, operations or childbirth.
Pulmonary embolism develops when a thromb breaks loose from the vein wall, gets into the lungs through blood flow and reduces oxygen supply to the body. In some cases, pulmonary embolism may be fatal. This is why it is of crucial to visit the doctor when the first symptoms appear.
Inflammation of the veins (phlebitis)
A frequent complication of varicose veins is phlebitis. The symptoms are redness and warmth along the inflamed vein, which is visible on skin surface and often accompanied by a swelling. Phlebitis has to be treated immediately, otherwise it may spread to deep veins and cause thromb formation.
Blood collects in the enlarged veins and this reduces oxygen supply to the surrounding tissue. This may cause necrosis of the tissue and open leg ulcers.