Spider veins and varicose veins are the two main types of visible veins.

Spider veins are small dilated veins within the surface of the skin. These most commonly are a cosmetic concern but they can cause aching, itching and throbbing. Sometimes these can be a sign of underlying venous insufficiency.

Varicose veins are larger deeper veins. They are caused by a dysfunction of the one way valves. This allows pooling of the blood causing the veins to bulge. These are more likely to cause problems like throbbing, itching and aching at the end of the day. A small number of people get more severe problems like bleeding, phlebitis (clots in the superficial veins) and ulcers. If these more severe problems occur it usually means there is a problem with the deep veins.

Many people who have larger varicose veins require specialized techniques to deal with them. In some cases, only a few veins are visible at the surface, when in fact, the problem is caused by the veins that are hidden from view. These visible veins represent the tip of the iceberg. Unless these hidden veins are treated, it is difficult if not impossible to achieve the desired results. Often multiple techniques are required to get effective results.

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