Both spider and varicose veins can be a significant cause of cosmetic embarrassment for adult men and women. Effective treatments exist for both of these types of visible veins today, but accurate identification of the veins is an important first step in choosing the proper treatment. What is the difference between varicose and spider veins? A number of factors may go into the answer to that question.
Spider veins tend to appear like networks of red or blue lines on the surface of the skin. They get their name because they often resemble a spider’s web or a starburst. Varicose veins can also appear as blue or purple lines on the skin’s surface, but they are usually much larger. In addition, varicose veins can begin to bulge and protrude above the surface of the skin. Some bulging varicose veins may also appear as flesh-colored, but the protruding ropes are no less unsightly.
Varicose veins nearly always occur on the lower legs, since the veins in this area are the most likely to wear out over time. Spider veins can appear nearly anywhere on the legs and are commonly seen on the back of the thighs or behind the knees. Spider veins can also appear on other areas of the body, including the abdomen, chest and face. Because spider veins can appear on more visible areas, they are often a bigger cosmetic concern.
Varicose veins are usually caused by an underlying condition known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI. This condition occurs when the small valves inside the veins become damaged or wear out. This allows blood to pool inside the vessels, which stretches the vein and creates the varicosity. Spider veins may also be cause by CVI, but may also be due to trauma to the skin, sun damage or hormonal fluctuations.
It is unusual for spider veins to become more than a cosmetic concern, particularly when they appear on the face. Occasionally, spider veins on the legs may be accompanied by leg fatigue or heaviness, particularly at the end of the day. Varicose veins may also be a cosmetic concern for many sufferers. However, those bulging vessels are more likely to lead to symptoms like pain, swelling and cramping in the lower legs. Varicose veins may also lead to skin changes, which may worsen and become permanent if the veins are left untreated.
The most common and effective method for treating spider veins is an injectable treatment known as sclerotherapy. This procedure involves injecting a sterile solution directly into the visible veins that causes them to seal closed. The treated vessels are eventually reabsorbed by the body and blood is rerouted through healthier veins nearby.
The treatment of varicose veins can be accomplished through a variety of minimally-invasive treatments today. State-of-the-art procedures using radiofrequency and laser energy effectively eradicate problem veins with minimal discomfort and downtime for the patient. With a variety of treatment options available, your procedure can be customized to your specific needs and desired outcome.
Treating spider and varicose veins is easier today than ever before, thanks to innovative treatments that remove vessels without surgery. To learn more about how you can say goodbye to spider and varicose veins, contact Incredible Veins Skin & Body at 818-446-2995.