What's the Difference Between Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?

What's the Difference Between Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?

Varicose veins and spider veins are visible veins on the surface of the skin that indicate an underlying problem with reverse venous flow.

What is reverse venous flow?

Reverse venous flow, also known as venous insufficiency, is a condition that occurs when the valves inside the leg veins become weak, damaged or otherwise compromised. These valves are responsible for pumping blood back to the heart from the lower extremities. When they don’t work effectively, blood pools and collects inside the vein. When this occurs, the veins become stretched, elongated and engorged.

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are small red or blue veins that are easily visible on the face or legs. They are most common in pregnant women and the elderly. Spider veins occur when capillaries on the skin become dilated, resembling the legs of a spider.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are swollen, engorged, twisted veins that you can see just under the surface of the skin. They are most commonly found in the legs but can form in other parts of the body as well.

What is the main difference between spider veins and varicose veins?

While the causes of varicose veins and spider veins may be similar, there are distinct differences between the two. With varicose veins, the valves inside the vein are diseased and are unable to sufficiently pump blood back to the heart, allowing reflux and backflow. Varicose veins can cause pain, numbness and fatigue in the legs. While spider veins are small, discolored veins that resemble tiny spider legs sprawling across the skin. They are generally not painful and can be treated cosmetically.

How are spider veins and varicose veins treated or managed?

  • Support stockings
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Radiofrequency laser treatment
  • Endovenous laser treatment

If you suffer from spider veins or varicose veins and are looking for innovative, minimally invasive treatment options, call the team at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic today at 855-591-1357 to schedule your first consultation.