Arteries bring oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body and veins return oxygen-poor blood back to the heart.
There are two kinds of veins in the lower extremities. The first one is under the skin and it is called superficial. The second one is deeper between the muscles and it is called deep.
Varicose veins and spider veins are diseases of the superficial veins and occur with increasing frequency, especially among women.
Lower extremity Spider veins
Spider veins are visible, but not bulging veins immediately under the skin.
Risk factors include: family history, pregnancy, obesity, prolonged standing or sitting. Usually they cause no symptoms. Rarely they may cause mild aching.
They are not a serious condition, but rather a cosmetic problem especially for women.
Treatment is painless and should be individualized for each patient. Different modalities are microsclerotherapy and laser. Larger ones are usually treated with microsclerotherapy and smaller ones with laser.
Immediate results are excellent, but spider veins may come back in the future requiring small treatment session every several years.