Spider veins and varicose veins are both caused by weakened one-way valves, which usually force blood to flow from the body back to the heart and lungs. When compromised they allow backwards blood flow and the pooling of blood in affected veins. Despite spider veins and varicose veins sharing their cause and contributing factors, the differences are important because they affect the necessity and type of treatment.
Varicose veins appear as blue or red bulging or twisting cords, usually on the legs or the feet, and can be deeper than the surface of the skin. Varicose veins cause cosmetic symptoms, but in some cases can also cause aching, burning, swelling, discoloration, or bleeding. Varicose veins can be located deeper than the surface of the skin and some patients will opt to have them treated exclusively for cosmetic reasons while others will have them treated to eliminate the possibility of more serious symptoms. Treatment options include endovenous laser treatment, ambulatory phlembectomy, and sclerotherapy, all of which we perform at our vein clinic in Elgin, IL and our two vein clinics in Chicago, IL. These procedures take less than an hour and you will be able to walk immediately after.
Spider veins appear as blue or red webs of lines smaller than one millimeter, usually on the legs or face, and sometimes look like a bruise on the skin. These are just below the surface of the skin and can result from poor circulation or as a symptom of varicose veins. Spider veins cause cosmetic symptoms only and patients seek treatment when they want to restore a healthy look in the affected area. Sclerotherapy is the main treatment technique for spider vein treatment because of their small size, though endovenous laser treatment is used in some cases.
If you want to identify your veins as spider or varicose veins and to learn the best treatment options for your specific veins, schedule a FREE consult with Dr. Yunez.