Leg on left with varicose veins, leg on right with no varicose veinsIf you’ve noticed pesky veins showing up on your legs, you’re not alone. As we age, spider veins and varicose veins appear for two reasons:

1. Damaged skin
2. Aging vein valves
The sun ages and thins out the skin, causing it to break down and become more transparent. As this happens, we tend to see more of our veins and might want them removed.

But first, it’s important to know the difference between these types of veins so you can get the best treatment.

The Difference Between Varicose Veins & Spider Veins

Spider Veins

Spider veins have a web-like appearance and appear towards the surface of your skin. These surface veins supply blood to the skin and other superficial areas. They are small, twisted blood vessels and can be the color red, purple, or blue.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are large and deeper because they supply blood to muscle tissue. When they become visible, they’re more obvious and tend to pop out.

Causes of Spider Veins vs Varicose Veins?

Spider and varicose veins may look different, but they show up for the same reasons.

Our veins work to pump blood from the legs back to the heart. As we age the valves weaken, causing the blood to flow backward. This makes the blood collect in your veins and make your veins enlarged. All this, because the blood is not being pushed back to your heart.
Other factors that contribute to spider veins and varicose veins issues include:
  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Leg trauma
  • Not being active
  • Smoking
  • Weight Gain

Treating Varicose Veins vs Spider Viens

When it comes to removing your veins, there are several treatment options available. Be sure to seek vein treatment from a vein specialist. This ensures you get the correct procedure and rule out vein diseases like venous insufficiency.

How to Treat Spider Veins

Spider veins are treated with a procedure known as Sclerotherapy. It’s a common treatment performed in your doctor’s office. It takes about 15 – 30 minutes and you can return to normal activities the very next day.

Spider Veins Injections Illustration

 
A solution is injected into the veins that irritate the vein walls and causes them to stick together, clot and collapse. Your body will break them down and reabsorb them. Depending on how many veins you need treated, multiple treatments may be required to get desired results.
 
Regardless, the appearance of spider veins will fade over time.

How to Treat Varicose Veins

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a successful treatment for varicose veins. The procedure involves a catheter that is inserted into the varicose vein. Using a high-frequency alternating current, the vein spasms, and collapses. The body will absorb the dead tissue and start using a healthy vein to pump blood from the legs to the heart.

Varicose Vein Heat Injection Illustration

 
RFA is a non-invasive outpatient procedure done in the doctor’s office and performed under moderate sedation. You can resume normal activities the day after treatment.

When to See a Doctor

Whether it’s the appearance of spider veins or varicose veins that concern you, there are options. And the sooner you get them treated, the sooner you can enjoy your life.
 
If you have symptoms like swelling, cramping, heaviness, or pain in your legs, consult with a doctor. These could be symptoms of Venous Insufficiency, a progressive vein disease that, if left untreated, could result in other health issues.

 

Delaware state character riding a bike toward healthier veinsAt Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their
spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

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