Problems with unsightly veins are very common with nearly two thirds of people over the age of 60 suffering from some kind of venous problem, especially varicose veins and spider veins. Indeed the incidence of varicose veins and other venous issues increases significantly after the age of 40 and women are much more likely to develop them than men.
Varicose veins

Varicose veins occur when veins do not properly return blood from the lower leg to the heart. All veins have valves that open to allow the flow of blood to the heart and close to prevent back flow (know as "reflux") of blood to the foot. When valves fail to function properly, blood leaks through and flows down the leg in the wrong direction. The blood overfills and distends the superficial veins under the skin, resulting in the bulging seen in varicose veins. 

When varicose veins become severe it is referred to as chronic venous insufficiency. Symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency include: aching pain, easy leg fatigue, and leg heaviness - all of which worsen as the day progresses. Left untreated, chronic venous insufficiency can cause ulcerations, which can be very difficult to treat.

Spider veins

Spider veins, although similar to varicose veins, are much closer to the surface of the skin and are usually red or purple. These veins are most commonly found on the face and legs and appear like a spider's web with short jagged lines.


Sclerotherapy can be used to treat spider veins and small varicose veins. Sclerotherapy works by injecting a solution into the damaged veins causing them to collapse, stick together, and eventually break down naturally in the body. Normal blood flow in the leg is thereby re-routed through deeper veins. Side effects can include: swelling, inflammation, and brown lines or spots on the skin at the site of the injected blood vessels. In most cases, this discoloration will disappear in time.

Lasers can be use to treat spider veins. The energy from the laser is absorbed by the blood in the vein, changed into heat and the vein walls destroyed. This process is perfectly safe as other healthy veins will supply blood to the treated area and the body will clear the dead tissue as it clears a bruise. Some patients may only need one treatment but usually up to 3 treatments are required to clear the skin of the spider vein completely.

Phlebectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat varicose veins. Veins are removed through small incisions using only a local anesthetic.

Endovenous Vein Treatment is less invasive than traditional surgical methods of varicose vein removal, has a lower complication rate, and is well tolerated by patients. Moreover recovery time is quick and the treatment produces good cosmetic results. This treatment is principally used on large truncal veins in the legs of patients with chronic venous insufficiency.