When looking at spider vs varicose veins, people usually quickly learn about their similarities and differences, the biggest difference between the two being the size of the affected vessels. The size differential, however, is enough that the way the two conditions impact one’s overall health is quite different. In fact, spider veins seldom produce any symptoms or create any health problems. Their impact is usually limited to that of a cosmetic nature only. Varicose veins, on the other hand, can impact both the appearance and a person’s health.
Varicose veins seldom develop anywhere other than the legs. They form when the blood starts to back up and pool inside the vessels as it is returned to the lungs for a fresh supply of oxygen. This happens because the valves that are inside the veins fail to function properly. They are there to act as one-way check valves to keep the blood flowing in only the right direction. Due to the length of the veins in the legs and the fact that the blood must flow against gravity for much of the time, the blood will pool in these veins when the valves quit working. Faulty valves allow the blood to flow backward between beats of the heart.
Because of the pressure that is exerted on the walls of the veins when the blood inside them pools, they enlarge and turn into varicose veins. When this happens, the vessels appear blue in color and can be seen through the skin. Due to their size, they often cause the skin to bulge out as well. These bulges can resemble cords under the skin. Their appearance can be noticeable enough that many people’s self-esteem is negatively impacted.
Spider vs Varicose Veins: Signs and Symptoms
Varicose veins can produce symptoms that interfere with a person’s quality of life as well. They can cause discomfort, numbness, and tingling. The legs can also sometimes swell, usually in the lower parts and around the ankles. People who must either remain seated in a stationary posture or spend most of the day on their feet are more likely to experience these symptoms. They will usually become worse later in the day. Varicose veins can also increase the risk of blood clots.
Spider veins develop in the smaller vessels near the surface of the skin. Like varicose veins, they are common in the legs. Unlike varicose veins, they frequently appear on the face as well. While they only produce symptoms in rare situations, they can impact the appearance in a way that is bothersome to many. They form lines that look like the legs of a spider with their sharp and jagged turns and can be blue, red, or purple in color.
Thankfully, those who learn about spider vs varicose veins find out that both can be easily treated. Sclerotherapy is one of the most widely used and trusted treatments. It is done by injecting a solution into the problem veins. They will close off and disappear from view over the next several weeks. If you have either condition, have a discussion with Dr. Rao and his experienced team at Rao Dermatology to find out if sclerotherapy is right for you. With many office locations in Manhattan, Atlantic Highlands, Woodbridge, Fresno, and Hanford, we provide patients with expert cosmetic and medical dermatological services from coast to coast. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment.