Comparing And Contrasting Spider Veins And Varicose Veins
Causes Of Spider And Varicose Veins Are Largely Similar
Spider veins and varicose veins, for the most part, share the same causes, including:
- These risks, or a combination of them, increase your risks of developing a venous disease.Genetics
- Being overweight
- Sitting or standing still for long periods of time
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High-heeled footwear and tight, restrictive clothing
Symptoms Of Varicose Veins And Spider Veins: Similarities And Differences
The symptoms of varicose and spider veins are similar in some respects and different in others.
Appearance: Spider veins are delicate (< 1 mm), visible red, purple or blue veins that branch out like a spider web. Varicose veins are larger (3 mm or >) tortuous red, purple or blue veins that bulge from the skin surface and may extend into the thigh and leg.
Discomfort/Pain: Most spider veins are asymptomatic. However, if you have spider veins you may complain of itching, burning, stinging and on occasion secondary skin conditions. Varicose veins, on the other hand, may cause symptoms such as heaviness, aching, swelling, throbbing, itching, leg fatigue, night cramps and restless legs.
Secondary Conditions: Spider veins generally are more of a cosmetic concern. Though in some cases, your spider veins may bleed simply by scrubbing the skin too hard or bumping into something. Sometimes the bleeding may cause a bruise beneath the skin, while other times it may bleed through the skin. The most common secondary conditions you may suffer from your varicose veins include pain, swelling, skin changes and ulcers. Varicose veins like spider veins can also bleed. Depending on the severity of varicosity, this bleeding may require a trip to the emergency room. Varicose veins are also more prone to develop blood clots which if dislodged can travel to the lungs causing a potentially life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE).
Treatments For Spider Veins And Varicose Veins
Most of you seek a procedure for your spider veins out of a cosmetic concern. However, varicose veins often require a procedure based on the severity of varicosity, physical symptoms, complications, and your cosmetic desires.
When you receive treatment, we recommend one or more of the following:
Compression Wear: Both spider veins and varicose veins can benefit from compression wear to reduce symptoms and slow progression. In fact, we recommend compression wear for most people who are in one or more of the high-risk categories listed above.
Conservative Care: In addition to compression wear, we recommend several other conservative measures for our patients. These Better Veins for Life Principles include a regular exercise program, daily leg elevation, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding high heels to alleviate the symptoms of your varicose veins and slow their progression. Even with conservative care, you should discuss your options with our team before you get started.