While most of our patients come to see us to have their varicose veins treated, we also perform spider vein treatments. Spider veins are smaller than varicose veins and less likely to be painful. However, because they often occur on the face, people are understandably self-conscious about them.

How Are Varicose and Spider Veins Alike?varicose and spider veins

Many of our patients ask us what the difference is between the two vein conditions. Spider veins are really just smaller versions of varicose veins. Both conditions are caused by blood backing up in the veins due to weakened or damaged valves inside the veins.

Some of the same factors, including heredity, age and obesity, can be linked to both conditions. However, spider veins, particularly when they occur on the face, can often be linked to sun exposure.

It’s not unusual to get spider veins, particularly on the legs, ankles and feet, before you get varicose veins. It’s also not unusual to have both.

What Are the Key Differences Between Them?

Obviously, spider and varicose veins look different from one another. Spider veins usually are red and blue and appear in a web-like formation – thus their name. (The medical name for spider names is telangiectasias.) They are usually closer to the skin’s surface than varicose veins.

Unlike spider veins, which may be a cosmetic issue, but generally aren’t painful, varicose veins can present a host of symptoms that can have negative consequences on quality of life. Varicose veins are often uncomfortable, if not painful. They’re often accompanied by swelling, fatigue, heaviness, and itching.

Most importantly, varicose veins, unlike spider veins, can lead to a potentially-dangerous underlying health issues. Though most consequences of varicose veins involve quality of life issues, such as fatigue, blood that pools can lead to clotting. A blood clot that gets into a deep vein can break off and cause a potentially-fatal pulmonary embolism. A more common consequence of leaving varicose veins untreated is venous ulcers, which are painful sores that are difficult to heal and can become infected.

At VeinInnovations, we offer a number of varicose and spider vein treatments. Whether you want to get rid of those pesky spider veins that make you self-conscious, or you want to relief from the unpleasant symptoms of varicose veins, our Atlanta vein specialists can help. Call us or fill out our quick and easy online contact form to schedule an appointment at one of three beautiful locations.