You’ve probably heard of these two terms before and might have even used them interchangeably. But what is the difference between varicose veins and spider veins? Let’s see.
Varicose veins are larger, swollen blood vessels that twist and turn below the skin surface. They are palpable, which means you can feel them bulging, and are more common in the legs and thighs.
Spider veins (medically termed telanglectasias) are smaller, short fine lines that often look like a web maze. They aren’t typically palpable and most commonly appear on thighs, ankles, and feet.
There are a number of causing factors for varicose and spider veins, most of which are involuntary:
- Occupations that require a lot of standing
- Birth control pills
- History of blood clots
- Conditions that cause increased pressure in the abdomen
- Skin injuries
- UV exposure
Women acquire varicose and spider veins more frequently than men and usually complains symptoms such as aching or cramping in the leg area. Other symptoms include tiredness, restlessness, throbbing, and heaviness in the legs.
Although varicose and spider veins are not dangerous or life threatening, it is a common beauty challenge or most women. Treatment for these veins include compression stockings, sclerotherapy, surface laser treatments, and surgery.
Compression stockings help relieve pressure on your body and usually come in the form of support pantyhose. Sclerotherapy is peformed by a doctor in which he/she uses a needle to inject a chemical liquid into the vein that will make them stick together and seal shut. This causes the vein to stop blood flow and eventually turns into scar tissue. Surface laser treatments send very strong bursts of light onto the vein and makes the vein slowly fade. Lastly, surgery is used to treat very large varicose veins by removing the veins from the leg through small cuts in the skin.
One surgery procedure is called the closure procedure, which is an alternative treatment option to traditional vein stripping surgery using new stateof the art technology. Using ultrasound, your physician will position the Closure catheter into the vein, through a small opening in the skin. The tiny catheter delivers radiofrequency (RF) energy to the vein wall which heats it, causing the collagen in the wall to shrink and the vein to close. Highlights of the Closure Procedure
For more information on how to treat varicose or spider veins, please consult a doctor.