Varicose vs. Spider Veins

Understand the Difference Between Vein Types

Although patients often use the terms spider veins and varicose veins interchangeably, these are two separate issues that affect the health of your venous system differently. Spider veins and varicose veins are similar in that they are both unsightly, and both are easily treatable, just by different means. The details below highlight the differences in spider veins vs. varicose veins.

How Do Spider Veins Compare?

  • Most often they are cosmetic in nature, although they can be symptomatic or an indicator of severe underlying vein problems, especially if presenting in a cluster around the ankle or behind the knee
  • Typically measuring less than one millimeter in diameter, unless they are clustered together. Spider veins are usually not as noticeable to the naked eye as bulging varicose veins.
  • Appear as thread-like, red, blue, or purplish lines on the skin surface, oftentimes resembling a bruise when they occur in clusters.
  • Primarily treated with sclerotherapy injections, the “gold standard” of care for the treatment of spider veins. May also be combined with laser treatments with a series of three to six treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart.
  • Treatment is considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance.

Consultations Available Now

To learn more, schedule your consultation with Dr. Schwartz by filling out the form on this page or by calling his practice at
(913) 451-8346. Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz serves patients throughout the Kansas City metro.

How Do Varicose Veins Compare?

  • Medical in nature, generally a symptom of a deeper, underlying issue in the venous system.
  • Large, dilated, bulging veins protruding above the level of the skin, often looking like bluish rope underneath the skin. These bulging veins tend to be associated with symptoms of pain, heaviness, swelling, and aching in the leg.
  • Following an initial consultation and ultrasound, varicose veins may be treated via in-office endovenous laser ablation. This is often in conjunction with ambulatory phlebectomy and endovenous chemical ablation, depending on the severity and source of the diseased veins.
  • Treatment is typically covered by insurance if the patient is symptomatic or has had complications, and the ultrasound shows venous reflux (backward flow of blood in veins).

Why Choose Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz?

When you choose Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz for your vein procedure, you will be working with an experienced physician who specializes in vein disease. Dr. Craig Schwartz is known as Kansas City’s “Original Vein Doctor” and the only triple board-certified vascular surgeon performing vein treatments in the area. Premier Vein & Body was founded in 2003 and was one of the first vein treatment centers in the Kansas City area. Dr. Schwartz is certified as an RVT (Registered Vascular Technician) and RPVI (Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation). These certifications are in venous ultrasound technology, ensuring the most thorough diagnosis and treatment of vein disease. With over 12,000 vein procedures performed, we’re confident that we can help you no matter what your vein condition might be.


*Individual Results May Vary

Read from real patients about their experiences with Dr. Schwartz and his team at Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz.


Before & After Photo Gallery

*Individual Results May Vary

Real Patients. Real Results. View before & after images of vein and cosmetic procedures in our photo gallery.