It is not uncommon to have varicose and spider veins in the same leg, but just because you have spider veins does not solidify the presence of varicose veins. While similar in nature, they are two distinct conditions. Read on to learn how they differ.

Spider veins are most commonly found on the legs and face. Generally they are small and red or blue in appearance.  These dilated veins are seen near the surface of the skin. They twist and turn resembling a spider web, hence the name. They generally spread and become more visible with age. The good news is spider veins are usually harmless, but the bad news is the number one risk factor is genetics. Age, obesity and extended periods of standing or sitting are also contributing factors to spider veins. With sclerotherapy and laser therapy treatment options for spider veins, there is no reason they should hold you back from the things you enjoy in life. Keep in mind, new spider veins can develop in the same area over time after treatment, so it is important to implement proper home care for your legs and veins.

Varicose veins are larger, stretched, twisted and often bulging veins that are visible under the surface of the skin. Most often found in the legs, a vein becomes varicose, or swollen, when there is a disruption in blood flow due to a weakened or damaged one-way vein valve or wall. This allows for blood to become stagnant and pool in the vein causing undue pressure that leads to weakening of the vein and swelling. The normal wear and tear of aging increases one’s likelihood of developing varicose veins. Like spider veins, prolonged periods of standing or siting as well as excess weight are also contributing factors. There are a number of minimally invasive treatment options for varicose veins including sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy, endovenous laser therapy, and radiofrequency ablation endovenous therapy.

While different in nature and severity, at home care for spider and varicose veins is similar. Often, physicians will recommend the following to relieve symptoms or keep them at bay post treatment:

  • Compression garments
  • Elevation of legs
  • Regular physical activity
  • Avoid prolonged periods of standing or sitting

Schedule an appointment with one of the experienced vascular surgeons at Premier Vein Clinics in Knoxville by calling (865) 588-8229 or request an appointment online. Take the first step to restoring your beautiful, healthy legs and say goodbye to spider and/or varicose veins for good!