Varicose veins are enlarged veins that appear blue, red or flesh-colored under the skin. They often look like they are twisted or bulging. Spider veins are a milder and smaller form of these enlarged veins. When comparing spider veins vs. varicose veins, it is important to note how similar they are. The major differences are that spider veins appear closer to the skin’s surface. While varicose veins are traditionally found on the legs, spider veins appear on both the legs and face. They look similar to a spider’s web, hence their name. Here at The Vein Center in Mount Pleasant, we can help you treat both issues safely and effectively.
What Causes Visible Veins?
Arteries carry oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Veins carry blood from the rest of your body back to your heart. Within your veins, there are tiny valves. These valves work as one-way flaps to prevent blood from flowing backward as it is pushed into your heart.
In order for blood to travel from your legs up to your heart, it has to work against gravity. Because the valves within these specific veins work so hard, they can become weak or damaged. When this happens, blood can begin to back up, causing your veins to expand. These enlarged veins are called varicose veins.
The valves within your veins can become weakened or damaged because of:
- Chronic heart condition
- A sedentary lifestyle
Spider veins are caused by this backup of blood. Hormone changes, exposure to sun and injuries can also lead to the formation of these veins.
What are the Symptoms?
The primary symptoms of spider veins and varicose veins involve their appearance on your skin. In addition, patients may experience:
- A heavy or achy feeling in the legs
- Worsening pain after sitting or standing for extended periods of time
- Restless legs
There are various professional treatments available at The Vein Center that can be used to address spider veins and varicose veins. For more information on treating your problematic veins, contact us today to book a consultation at our office in Mount Pleasant!