Many people may think that spider veins and varicose veins are the same things, and they are terms that can be used interchangeably. With names that sound very similar, it is no wonder there is some confusion and misunderstanding. While there are similarities, they are in fact two different conditions.
So what exactly is the difference between spider veins and varicose veins?
Spider veins, otherwise referred to as leg thread veins, will look like small red or blue lines, and will often resemble a spider’s web. They will appear just below the surface of the skin and will commonly appear in the legs and the face. Spider veins will appear to be around 1mm in diameter.
Those who have spider veins will generally not feel any associated pain as a result of the veins. Furthermore, they will not lead to any other secondary health conditions.
Treatment for spider veins is considered cosmetic.
Varicose veins are twisted blue veins that will appear to be bulging beneath the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are larger in size than spider veins and will be around 3mm in diameter. They will typically appear in the legs.
Varicose veins can cause the legs to feel heavier or can result in swelling and discomfort. You can also experience leg fatigue, cramps or restless legs.
In some instances, varicose veins can lead to further health conditions. As a result, it is sometimes necessary to treat varicose veins in order to fix any current symptoms and avoid any future problems.
Treating varicose veins is not considered a cosmetic procedure. While it can improve the aesthetics of your legs, the removal of varicose veins can improve the quality of life and prevent other health conditions, such as blood clots, from occurring.
While they are two separate conditions, the causes are actually relatively similar. The causes for both spider and varicose veins include:
If the veins appeared as a result of pregnancy, in most cases they will go away three months after pregnancy.
Both spider and varicose veins are more likely to occur in women than in men.
In some cases, losing weight, elevating the legs or avoiding sitting and standing for long periods of time will help to improve any symptoms.
There are numerous options for the removal of spider veins:
Injection sclerotherapy is a common treatment type for varicose veins. However, there are other options for removal, including:
If you suspect you have either spider veins or varicose veins, book a consultation with one of the surgeons at Centre for Surgery. They will be able to diagnose the correct type of vein, as well as suggest the best surgical or non-surgical removal options for you.