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What is Superficial Venous Disease?

Nov 17, 2023
What is Superficial Venous Disease?
Vein health can have an impact on overall health. When veins get damaged or weakened, they can't perform their crucial task of returning blood to the heart. When venous disease strikes, prompt treatment can make all the difference.

Veins ensure that blood flows seamlessly throughout the body. But sometimes, veins can face challenges like superficial venous disease, compromising their functionality. 

The team at Third Coast Vascular offers a full range of vascular medicine services and has extensive experience treating venous disease

Superficial venous disease overview

Superficial venous disease is a condition where the veins near the surface of the skin become damaged or weak, preventing them from effectively returning blood to the heart. This can lead to blood pooling in these veins, causing varicose veins, swelling, and discomfort. 

Types of superficial venous disease

Venous diseases encompass a range of conditions that affect the veins' ability to circulate blood properly. The following are the most common conditions associated with superficial venous disease.

Venous reflux

Venous reflux, also known as venous insufficiency, occurs when the valves in the veins don't function properly, leading to the backward flow of blood. This can cause blood to pool in the veins, particularly in the legs. Over time, this can result in symptoms like swelling, pain, and visible varicose veins.

Varicose veins

Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that are visible just under the surface of the skin. They often appear blue or dark purple and are commonly found in the legs. While they can be a cosmetic concern for many, they can also cause pain, itching, and discomfort. Left untreated, varicose veins can cause more serious health issues.

Spider veins

Spider veins are tiny, thin veins that can be seen under the skin, often resembling a spider's web or tree branches. Typically red or blue, they most frequently appear on the legs and face. 

Superficial venous thrombosis

Superficial venous thrombosis refers to a blood clot in a vein located just below the skin's surface. This condition can cause the vein to become red, swollen, and tender to the touch. While it's less dangerous than deep vein thrombosis, which occurs in the deeper veins, it's essential to get it checked out, as complications can arise if left untreated.

Causes of venous disease

Various factors increase the risk of developing superficial venous disease. Some common causes include genetics, age, pregnancy, prolonged standing or sitting, obesity, and prior leg injuries. 


Hormonal changes, especially in women during various stages like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can also play a significant role. Being aware of these risk factors can help in early detection and management.

Typical symptoms of venous disease

The initial signs of superficial venous disease can often be subtle, making them easy to overlook. Common symptoms include:

  • Leg pain or aching
  • Swelling in the ankles or legs
  • Itchy or irritated skin around the veins
  • Appearance of varicose veins or spider veins
  • Darkening of the skin, especially near the ankles


When noticing any of these symptoms, it's essential to consult a vascular specialist promptly.

Venous disease treatment at Third Coast Vascular

Timely and accurate treatment can make all the difference in managing superficial venous disease. At Third Coast Vascular, we offer a variety of treatments tailored to each patient's unique needs. 

These may start with lifestyle changes such as losing weight or using compression stockings.

If needed, advanced treatments are used to close off damaged veins including:

  • Endovenous laser therapy, which uses laser energy
  • Sclerotherapy, which uses injected liquid or foam agents
  • Vein removal surgery, for large or deep veins 

Each treatment plan is designed to offer maximum relief and restore optimal vascular health.

Prevention and lifestyle modifications

While certain risk factors like genetics cannot be changed, making specific lifestyle modifications can help prevent or manage superficial venous disease. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding prolonged standing or sitting, and elevating the legs can significantly reduce the risk. 

Additionally, wearing compression stockings can help promote healthy blood flow, reducing the chances of the disease's progression.

Third Coast Vascular is committed to providing top-quality vascular care. For more information about venous disease treatment and any vascular needs, call our office to schedule a visit.