Spider Vein Overview
Spider veins appear as blue, red, or purplish web-like veins (hence the name “spider” veins). They can occur in clusters on the calves, thighs, and ankles. Facial spider veins are also common and can be seen on the cheeks and/or nose.
Spider veins are connected to larger, underlying reticular veins known as “feeder veins” that appear under the skin’s surface. They can sometimes cause itching, burning, throbbing, and aching sensations and are more likely to occur in women than men.
They typically appear due to sitting or standing for long periods but can also appear due to genetics. Dr. Schwartz can treat spider veins effectively from his vein center in Kansas City.
Varicose Vein Overview
Varicose veins are often bulging, uncomfortable, and painful. These veins are caused by non-functioning valves inside the veins. When a vein becomes varicose, they lose their ability to carry blood up and away from the legs.
When this happens, the blood flows back down towards the feet. Once a vein becomes varicose, it will remain that way until treatment. As with spider veins, varicose veins are more common in women than men and those with a family history of the problem.
Untreated varicose veins can lead to heavy legs, fatigue, and swelling, and even open, weeping wounds around the ankles. Dr. Schwartz can treat varicose veins using in-office, minimally-invasive treatments from his vein center in Kansas City.
Spider vs. Varicose Veins: The Main Differences
The good news is that both spider veins and varicose veins are treatable. But, what are the main differences between the two? Arguably, the main difference is how spider veins are mainly a cosmetic concern, and varicose veins should be a direct medical concern. While spider vein clusters in the ankles can be a sign of an underlying venous issue, varicose veins are often seen as the more high-risk concern between the two.
Another difference is the physical appearance of the types of veins. Spider veins measure around one millimeter in diameter (unless in clusters) and appear right under the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are large and protrude above the skin level. Varicose veins can also appear twisted and dark in color.