Veins and vessels

What are varicose and spider veins?

Spider veins are small, superficial veins (primarily found on the legs and face) that can appear singly or as a network of tiny veins visible because of valve dysfunction. These tiny superficial veins may be treated with laser therapy (photo facials).

Varicose veins are deeper, larger leg veins that are swollen, discoloured and may pose serious health risks. Spider veins and varicose veins on legs can be unsightly and can make people self-conscious about wearing shorts or skirts. But varicose veins can be more than just a cosmetic concern; they can cause pain, fatigue, heaviness, aching, burning, throbbing, itching, cramps, swelling and restlessness. Over the years, treatment for these veins has improved. At CosMedics, we perform sclerotherapy for vein treatment. Our specialty is spider veins. They are by far the hardest to treat, and our technicians work wonders on them.

Spider vein treatment options

  • Photofacials can be used to treat vascular lesions—the superficial blue, red or purple veins under the skin’s surface. These commonly include rosacea and spider veins.

Varicose vein treatment options

What causes spider veins?

Whether these veins appear on the ankles, legs, hands or face, the cause of spider veins remains the same. These veins occur because sun damage, pressure or trauma cause unhealthy valves within the feeder valve to fail and allow blood to flow backwards into the the vein instead of upwards.

What causes varicose veins?

Larger, deeper varicose veins can develop due to the following risk factors:

  • Weight/obesity
  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Sitting or standing for extended periods of time

Symptoms of spider veins

Spider veins appear as a network—a “spider web network”—of fine veins that may vary in colour (blue, purple, red), and are visible near the surface of the skin.

Symptoms of varicose veins

Varicose veins appear larger and deeper than spider veins.  These veins may appear raised, lumpy or ropey, and may be painful.