Varicose and spider veins are both conditions that are caused by venous insufficiency, or the inability of the veins to transfer the blood properly. As a result, the vessels become enlarged and can usually be seen through the skin. Varicose veins develop in larger vessels, while spider veins form in the capillaries or the smaller vessels that branch off from the larger ones. Their purpose is to supply blood to all parts of the body. There are some similarities between the two conditions, but there are some important differences as well. In spite of the differences between varicose vs spider veins, many of the same treatment methods can be used for both conditions.
When considering varicose vs spider veins, remember that varicose veins happen in the legs for the most part. In fact, their formation anywhere else is nearly unheard of. The veins in the legs are longer than most and must transfer the blood against the pull of gravity for much of the time in order to return it to the heart and lungs. To prevent the gravitational pull from forcing the blood to go backward between beats of the heart, the veins are equipped with devices that serve as one-way check valves. Problems can start when these valves begin to fail. As they do, the blood can try to go backward. The pressure created by the gravitational pull working against the directional flow created by the heart will cause the blood to pool inside the vessels. The pressure exerted from inside the veins during this process will cause the veins to enlarge and develop into varicose veins.
Varicose veins often have a distinct appearance. They usually appear blue in color when they become visible through the skin. Due to their size, they can also cause the skin to bulge out. These two factors together can create an appearance that causes many people to lose some of their self-esteem.
Varicose veins can also cause physical discomforts. Symptoms like aching, burning, itching, numbness and tingling are common, even though not everyone with varicose veins has symptoms. People who spend a lot of time on their feet frequently experience swelling around the ankles and in the lower legs as well. The level of discomfort seems to increase as the day wears on.
The risk of deep vein thrombosis increases with the development of varicose veins. These clots have a greater risk of breaking free and traveling to the lungs than clots that are nearer the surface.
Spider veins, on the other hand, only rarely cause symptoms. They do not put a person at a higher risk for other health conditions either. Instead, their impact is one of a cosmetic nature. Because they appear on the face as well as the legs, they frequently impact the appearance enough to hurt a person’s self-esteem. Spider veins can be blue, red or purple. They also can be interwoven. This makes their appearance even more noticeable.
If you are considering treatment for varicose vs spider veins, we offer treatment for both in the form of sclerotherapy at South Lake OB/GYN in Clermont. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment with us and find out if sclerotherapy is right for you.