Varicose Veins Vs. Spider Veins

Your veins are important for transporting de-oxygenated blood back to the lungs and heart. However, genetics, poor habits, and much more can lead to vein issues like varicose and spider veins. If you would like to know more about these unsightly conditions, keep reading.

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are usually thin (much like a spider's web), and they may appear purple, blue, or red. They develop when small blood capillaries get damaged. They are prone to develop on the legs, but many people get them on the face too.

Luckily, spider veins are usually harmless, but it's important to talk to your healthcare provider to ensure they aren't the sign of a bigger underlying issue like chronic venous insufficiency. You may have a higher risk of spider veins if you experience hormonal changes or trauma. However, one of the leading risk factors for spider veins is being obese. Similarly, if you stand or sit for long periods, you may have a higher risk.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Unlike spider veins, varicose veins are actual veins, and they tend to be bigger and more noticeable than spider veins. They may protrude from the skin and look twisted. Like spider veins, they are common on the legs, but they can appear anywhere. Varicose veins usually develop when damage to the vein valves prevents them from fully draining. This leaves the vein full and swollen.

For the most part, varicose veins are caused by the same issues as spider veins. However, they may lead to more severe complications. Varicose veins can cause discomfort and swelling in your legs. In more serious cases, however, it can lead to ulcers, blood clots, and bleeding.

How Can You Treat Spider and Varicose Veins?

You may be able to help prevent spider and varicose veins by changing your position regularly, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and keeping your legs elevated when at rest. Luckily, if you do develop spider veins or varicose veins, there are many treatment options.

Sclerotherapy is one of the most common treatment methods. The doctor injects a solution into the vein to seal off the vein. This causes no harm as the veins are usually surface and other veins will take over their job. In more serious cases, the doctor can surgically remove problematic veins.

Varicose and spider veins are incredibly common, especially as you get older. However, you don't have to live with them. There are many treatments that can help eliminate those pesky veins once and for all. For more information, contact a vein specialist near you.