Many people experience problems with their veins over the course of their lives. Thread veins and varicose veins are amongst the main problems, but what is the difference between them? Let’s take a look at the causes of each and learn how each type can be identified.


Thread veins, also known as spider veins, are very small veins just underneath the surface of the skin that have become dilated. They are generally blue, red or purplish in colour.

Varicose veins, on the other hand, are much larger and bulkier in appearance than thread veins. They tend to look like thick ropes, as they bulge and protrude towards the surface of the skin.


Thread veins are believed to have a number of causes. They are thought to be hereditary, but they can also be caused by prolonged standing, smoking, alcohol, hormonal changes or injuries.

The main cause of varicose veins is a stretching of the walls of the veins and a weakening of valves responsible for blood flow, leading to blood collecting in the veins and enlarging them.


The good news for people with thread veins is that they can be treated and removed with laser treatment, which uses a special laser to heat the blood and collapse the veins.

The only way to treat varicose veins, however, is through surgical removal.