You may call it varicose or spider veins when you spot bulging and swollen veins in your legs or other body parts. While these two conditions have similarities, they are different and have distinguishing characteristics. The two terms should not be used interchangeably because the treatment approach may differ.
Varicose and spider veins are two common issues that people are often confused about. Both problems arise from blood vessels but have different specifics. If you suffer from varicose or spider veins or want to get diagnosed, consult with houston vein specialists today.
Differences between spider and varicose veins
- They look different on your skin.
Even though spider and varicose veins are venous diseases, they appear different. Spider veins are thin and small, much like spider webs, which is why they are named after them. They are red or blue in color and may look like branches of a tree to some. They are also much closer to the skin surface. On the other hand, varicose veins are bigger, bulging, and twisted.
- They appear in different areas of your body.
While spider veins can occur in any part of the body, they are most common on the legs and face. Varicose veins usually develop in the legs and thigh region.
- They have different symptoms.
While spider veins may cause mild discomfort and itching, most of the cases are painless and do not pose a threat. They are usually cosmetic problems and do not lead to other health issues. In comparison, varicose veins are not always a cosmetic problem and can cause daily problems. They can lead to extreme pain, swelling, heaviness, and tingling in the lower part of the body.
- They have different approaches to treatment.
Spider veins are much easier and quicker to treat than varicose veins. The most common and reliable treatment for spider veins is sclerotherapy, where a solution is injected into the affected vein through a thin, tiny needle to close the vessel. Endovenous laser ablation treatment (EVLT) is used for varicose veins, where the veins are closed off using heat.
- They have differing complications.
Spider veins are usually cosmetic and do not lead to potentially harmful complications. You can leave them untreated for years and not experience an issue. If left untreated, varicose veins can cause sores or skin ulcers, blood clot risk, skin changes, and thrombophlebitis.
These are the key differences between spider and varicose veins. For an unprofessional eye, it can be challenging to differentiate between the two. The main difference lies in their appearance.