Varicose veins and spider veins are two of the most common vascular conditions with which people struggle and therefore seek treatment. The biggest difference in the two conditions is the size of the affected vessels. There are, however, other differences in the way the conditions impact a person’s lifestyle.
Varicose veins primarily happen in the legs. Their presence in other parts of the body is extremely rare. They develop when the veins become larger than normal as a result of blood pooling inside them. The veins serve the purpose of returning the blood back to the lungs to be replenished with a fresh supply of oxygen that it can deliver throughout the body. Because most of the time the blood in the legs must be pumped uphill in order to return it to the heart and lungs, there are valves inside the vessels to keep it from flowing backwards. If these valves get to the point of no longer functioning properly, the blood will begin to back up inside the veins and start to pool. The pooling action results in too much pressure being exerted against the vessel walls as the heart pumps the blood through. The pressure causes the vessels to enlarge, leading to varicose vein formation.
Varicose veins are frequently visible through the skin. Usually they are blue, but they can also bulge out from the skin, making their appearance even more obvious. Many people look for ways to have them treated in order to improve their appearance. In other cases, varicose veins can cause discomforts like aching, numbness, itching and swelling. When these symptoms occur, they are usually in addition to the appearance impact the condition causes. Therefore, people with these symptoms have two reasons to seek treatment. Varicose veins can also put individuals at risk for developing other conditions like blood clots near the surface or deep vein thrombosis, which is a clot in deeper tissue.
Spider veins do not cause symptoms, except in rare cases. Their impact is usually limited to aesthetics only. This, however, is enough to cause people to lose some of their self-confidence. They may find that they are always concerned with the impression they are making on others as a result of the visible veins. Unlike varicose veins that appear on the legs, spider veins can appear on the face too, in addition to the legs and chest.
Spider veins form when the capillaries become enlarged or broken. They are visible through the skin as fine lines that can resemble the web of a spider. While they are not expected to cause any risks to one’s health, the appearance issue is enough of a reason for many people to have them removed.
If you have spider veins or varicose veins, you might want to have a discussion with our team at Premier Vein Institute about the available treatment methods. After doing an evaluation, our specialist will be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of the various treatment methods to you in more detail. Many of these methods can be done in the comfort of our office with no downtime. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our office in Tampa, Lakeland or Riverview.