When it comes down to varicose vs spider veins, both are conditions that can result in veins becoming visible through the skin. They can reach the point of hurting a person’s self-confidence in many cases. Varicose veins can also cause risks to one’s health. The difference in the two conditions is mainly the size of the affected vessels.
These problem veins form when the blood is not flowing through them in the proper way. As a result, the vessels will enlarge and become visible through the skin. Varicose veins happen in the larger vessels while spider veins form when the capillaries become enlarged.
Varicose veins occur primarily in the legs. In fact, it is rare for them to develop anywhere else. They usually form because of faulty valves in the veins. The valves are there to serve as one-way devices to prevent the blood from flowing backward through the veins due to the pull of gravity. When they reach the point of no longer working as they should, the blood can begin to back up in the vessels. The tendency for it to flow backward puts too much pressure against the vessel walls. This happens because the pull of gravity is working against the natural flow created by the pumping action of the heart. The pressure causes the veins to enlarge and become varicose.
Varicose veins usually appear as blue streaks under the skin. Many individuals seek treatments in order to improve the appearance that is harmed by the presence of these veins. Not only do varicose veins cause appearance problems, but they can produce symptoms and health risks as well. People with the condition often experience aching, numbness and tingling in the areas where the problem veins are located. There can also be some swelling around the ankles and in the lower legs. For many, these symptoms become worse later in the day, especially among individuals who must spend a lot of time on their feet. Sitting in stationary positions for long periods of time can make the symptoms worse as well.
Varicose veins put a person at a higher risk of developing blood clots as well. Sometimes, these clots can be in the form of deep vein thrombosis. This is when a clot is in veins that are in deeper tissue. These clots have a greater chance of breaking free and traveling to one of the lungs.
Regarding varicose vs spider veins, spider veins develop in smaller vessels, or capillaries. They are not limited to the legs, but they can form on the face and chest as well. Because they appear as fine lines that are bunched together, they are more conspicuous than they would be if they formed in isolated vessels. Spider veins do not create symptoms, except in rare cases. They also usually do not create any health risks. Their impact is typically one of an aesthetic nature only.
If you have spider or varicose veins, you might want to have a discussion with our team at the South Texas Vein Institute regarding options for treatments. We have a variety of methods available. Many of them can be done as outpatient procedures in the comfort of our office. Contact our office in Edinburg today to schedule a consultation to get all the facts about varicose vs spider veins.