The Differences Between Spider and Varicose Veins

While there are places on your body where it’s normal to see blood vessels through the skin, like your wrists and hands, there are other places where the appearance of spider and varicose veins aren’t normal. Often, their appearance can be an aesthetic drawback, interfering with the normally smooth color and appearance of skin in locations such as your cheeks and legs. 

When you need cosmetic attention for either problem, or if varicose veins cause other issues, consult with MD Vein & Skin Specialists in Columbia Maryland. Dr. Clement Banda is an experienced phlebologist with over 25 years of specialty expertise. 

Reasons for vein breakdown

The problem with both spider and varicose veins comes down to pressure. Veins return blood from the body to the heart, closing the circuit started by arteries, which deliver blood from the heart. Since the pumping action of the heart fades the farther away a blood vessel is, veins have valves along their length, which act as one-way backflow preventers. 

When pressure inside veins increases, these veins may start to fail, unable to fully close. Blood can move backward and start to pool, further increasing pressure and causing a cascading failure in vein branches. Usually, the first symptom of both spider and varicose veins is their increased visibility through the skin. 

Spider veins

Though their presence might indicate other venous issues, spider veins themselves rarely cause any problems other than their cosmetic appearance. These veins are small, usually less than one millimeter in diameter, red or purple in color, and often appearing in clusters, which gives skin a ruddy or bruised look. Spider veins are common on the nose, cheeks, legs, and feet. 

Varicose veins

Blue, blue-green, or dark purple in color, varicose veins are larger in diameter than spider veins and as they develop, they can bulge out against your skin. They can be gnarled and twisted like spider veins, but they typically don’t cluster in the same way. 

The varicose veins you can see are part of the superficial venous system. There’s also a deep venous system, and these veins can become varicose, too, though you’re unable to see them. They’re more likely to cause health complications without medical intervention. Varicose veins are most often found in the legs. 

Painful symptoms

It’s not likely that spider veins themselves will cause you any sensation or discomfort. Many cases of varicose veins are symptom-free also, but when you have sensations, they usually originate with the larger veins. These symptoms include: 

When varicose veins cause complications, these can include spontaneous bleeding, blood clots in deep veins, or ulcers on the skin developing in areas of discolored skin. 

Contact MD Vein & Skin Specialists when your spider or varicose veins become an issue, whether it’s symptomatic or cosmetic. There are treatments for both. You can book your appointment with a call to the office or through the booking link online. Schedule your consultation now. 

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