Veins, as we all know, are designed to transport the blood back up to the heart. They rely on valves and the squeezing action of our muscles to keep the blood moving upwards. Varicose veins and thread veins tend to form when this process is compromised.

Venal insufficiency occurs when the valves becomes weakened, allowing blood to reflux back down the vein. The increase in volume and pressure can cause the vessel to dilate and bulge, causing either thread or varicose veins to form.

Although they occur for the same reasons, thread and varicose veins do differ. Thread veins are tiny vessels under the surface of the skin that usually measure between 1 and 3mm in diameter. They tend to resemble a spider’s web although they can also form more linear patterns.

Varicose veins are much larger veins that bulge through the surface of the skin as a result of the increased pressure. Put simply, they can be seen and felt through the surface of the skin, and are often accompanied by symptoms that include throbbing, itching and pain. If left untreated, varicose veins can develop serious complications.