Varicose veins come in many different shapes and sizes and with a variety of names, depending on what part of your body they appear in and how they look. Knowing the actual names can help determine which vein treatment to use.
When you hear these names – some familiar, some not – remember that they all can be treated and removed to help you feel and look better.
Spider veins are a familiar name for thin, bluish veins that appear most often on your face or near your ankles. They look web-like, which gives them their name. They usually are considered a cosmetic issue because they don’t indicate an underlying health issue. Sclerotherapy is usually the recommended course of treatment.
Hemorrhoids are varicose veins, too. They happen to appear in the anus but they can be easily treated so that you can return to your normal lifestyle without pain or embarrassment.
Venous lakes are small, blood-filled blotches that form on your lip or the tops of your ears. Doctors think exposure to sun causes small blood vessels to slowly leak and form the bulbous venous lakes, which are named for the pools of blood that form under the skin. Especially when the venous lake appears on your lip, sclerotherapy or endovenous laser therapy are often prescribed to shut down the leaking veins and eliminate the problem.
Reticular veins appear on the back of your legs, anywhere from the thighs to the ankles. They appear as thin, blue or purple lines but don’t bulge like larger varicose veins often do. Over time, spider veins sometimes spread from reticular veins. Except for occasional pain, these problem veins are considered a cosmetic issue, and not a source of medical concern.
Telangiectasia looks a lot like spider veins but the clusters of blood vessels are usually red instead of blue. Unlike spider veins, telangiectasia are sometimes an indication of a disease, including a genetic disorder, an infection or liver disease. If you develop this type of varicose vein, you should see a doctor to determine the cause. As with other varicose vein diseases, doctors can use sclerotherapy or laser treatment to eliminate them.