Varicose Veins and Spider Veins – What is the Difference?
While varicose veins and spider veins are both caused by forms of venous insufficiency, there are differences between them:
Varicose veins are twisted, bulging blue blood vessels that can be seen and felt right under the surface of the skin.
- They can cause a feeling of heaviness, discomfort or swelling in the legs.
- They can lead to more serious health conditions such as non-healing sores and/or blood clots.
- Treatment may be necessary to prevent varicose veins from worsening and to improve how the legs look and feel.
Spider veins appear as tiny red or blue lines, usually less than 1 mm in diameter, that look like branches or a spider web just below the surface of your skin.
- They’re almost always painless, do not cause leg swelling and generally do not lead to other health problems.
- While someone can have both varicose veins and spider veins, it’s important to point out that spider veins do not always turn into varicose veins.
- Treatment of spider veins alone is usually considered cosmetic.
When to see a Doctor
It’s always a good idea to talk to a health care professional about any medical concerns or conditions you may have.
But it’s definitely time to talk to your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing any pain, discomfort, have noticed changes to varicose or spider veins, or if:
- The vein has become swollen, red, very tender or warm to the touch, which can be a sign of a blood clot.
- You have sores or a rash on your leg or near your ankle.
- The skin on your ankle or calf changes color.
- One of the varicose veins begins to bleed.
- Your symptoms keep you from doing daily activities.
Questions About Your Vein Health?
Make an Appointment with a WCH Clinic Provider Near You: 928-668-1833