Venous insufficiency is a condition characterized by poor circulation and the pooling of blood in the legs. Patients with this condition frequently experience tired, achy, heavy legs at the end of the day, night cramps, and swelling in the feet and ankles.
Varicose veins are clusters of swollen, tangled veins, and they often bulge above the surface of the skin. These veins often fill with blood and can become tender or inflamed.
Spider veins, which are small, thin veins seen at the skin surface, often form from years of venous insufficiency and can be a sign of venous disease below the skin surface.
Author: Arun Chervu, MD, FACS, RVT, MBA, MHA, Board-Certified Vascular Surgeon
Types of Venous Diseases
Spider Veins are the small, visible veins which often have the appearance of having been drawn on the skin, with a fine pen. They do not bulge out beyond the skin, but can be unsightly, and can also be associated with itching or discomfort, though they are considered cosmetic.
Varicose Veins are the bulging veins, often seen on the thighs and legs. As they grow larger, they can cause more pain, itching, burning, fatigue, and become more unsightly. Varicose veins are not just a cosmetic issue but can often be a sign of an underlying vein condition known as Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI).