Spider veins: Small varicose dilations of the veins in the skin. Spider veins are a common minor problem. These are small red or purplish dilated end vessels. While they may be unattractive they pose no harm. Other venous problems may cause leg discomfort, leg swelling, and in severe cases skin breakdown. Vein problems affect both men and women and are more likely to occur the older we age.
Varicosis: Medical term for dilated superficial veins with defective valves (varicose veins).The walls of a vein may be weak and bulge and twist as with varicose veins. When veins continually over-expand the valves fail to close properly. Venous blood then falls backwards putting more pressure on the valves below. Eventually these valves may also weaken and pooling or venous congestion results while standing or sitting.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): Obstruction of a deep vein by a blood clot (with the risk of pulmonary embolism). A blood clot in a deep vein (DVT) most often occurs near a venous valve. The DVT can permanently damage the vein wall and valve. Damage, scarring or fibrosis to the vein wall and valve cause them to become incompetent resulting in reflux (backward) flow of blood and venous congestion.
Pulmonary embolism: Blockage of an artery in the lung by a blood clot.
Superficial phlebitis: Inflammation and formation of a clot in a superficial vein, especially in a varicose vein.
Post-thrombotic syndrome: Condition following a deep vein thrombosis resulting from damage to deep vein valves or a blockage.
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI): Swelling, discolouring of the skin, sclerosis or leg ulcers as an after-effect of venous disorders such as varicosis or deep vein thrombosis.
Ulcer of the leg (venous stasis ulcer): Most severe form of CVI resulting from a chronically insufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients to tissue; in the worst case scenario the tissue dies off, producing an ulcer of the lower leg.
To ensure a correct diagnosis and proper treatment, it is advisable to consult a doctor in each and every case.