What are varicose veins? How do we get spider veins? Are varicose veins any different from spider veins? These are the most common questions that a majority of the people have when they are experiencing what they think might be varicose veins or spider veins.
Varicose veins and spider veins are both similar vascular disorders. However, when we pay close attention, there are prominent differences in the symptoms and treatment of both these medical conditions.
Let us understand the similarities and differences in varicose veins and spider veins in the blog today.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are the swollen, enlarged, and twisted veins that turn bluish-purple in colour. These abnormal and dilated veins are commonly found on the legs and are clearly visible to the naked eye.
Varicose veins can be easily felt right under the surface of the skin. Varicose veins cause a feeling of heaviness and discomfort in the legs. The patient also feels itching and irritation on the damaged area accompanied by a burning, throbbing or tingling sensation.
Varicose veins, when left untreated, can lead to severe health issues like blood clots, DVT, and active venous ulcers. It is vital to get the varicose veins treated to prevent them from worsening and for improving the look and feel of your legs.
What are spider veins?
Comparatively smaller in size than varicose veins, spider veins are red, purple, and blue blood vessels that are visible on the skin of the legs, chest, and face in the form of branches or spider web like structure.
These veins are tiny, mostly less than 1mm in diameter and visible just below the surface of the skin. Spider veins are usually painless and do not cause swelling in the affected area. Spider veins generally do not lead to any other critical health problems.
Spider veins may be caused due to the faulty one-way valves or may occur due to chronic venous insufficiency. A patient may have both varicose veins and spider veins at the same time but not all spider veins turn into varicose veins.
What causes varicose veins and spider veins?
Both these are vascular disorders that occur due to malfunctioning valves of the veins that restrict the blood from flowing back to the heart and instead result in the pooling of the blood in the veins and the surrounding tissues.
This causes additional pressure on the veins and makes them enlarged and bulging out from the surface of the skin. The below-mentioned factors are the leading risk factors for varicose veins and spider veins:
- Lack of physical exercise
- Use of birth control pills
- History of blood clots
- Hormonal replacement after menopause
- Hormonal influence during pregnancy, puberty, menopause
- Occupations that require extended hours of standing or sitting in the same position (nurses, teachers, factory workers, hair stylists, etc)
- Conditions that increase the pressure in the abdomen area (tumours, constipation, certain garments, etc)
- Any previous vein surgery
- Trauma or injury to the leg
- Exposure to UV rays
Similarities between varicose veins and spider veins
- Varicose veins and spider veins are very common. As many as 50% of people over 50 years of age suffer from varicose veins.
- Both these medical conditions are hereditary disorders. If anyone in your family has had varicose veins or spider veins, it is not uncommon for you to also have them.
- Spider veins, as well as varicose veins, are related to body weight. Obese people have a higher tendency of suffering from one or both of these venous disorders
- Spider veins and varicose veins are related to the age as older people more are more likely to suffer from them
- Both these are also related to the gender as a large number of women have been reported to suffer from varicose veins and spider veins as opposed to their male counterparts
Differences between varicose veins and spider veins
- Varicose veins usually occur on the legs while spider veins can occur on the legs, face, and chest also
- Spider veins are oftentimes just a cosmetic issue but varicose veins deteriorate the quality of the life and hinder with the everyday activities
- Varicose vein symptoms are much worse and lead to extreme swelling, pain, itching, and discomfort in the legs
- Spider veins hardly result in any extreme condition while varicose veins always have a high chance of getting worse in cases when the treatment is delayed
- A few women may develop varicose veins during pregnancy which may go away on its own in about 3 months after delivery. Spider veins have no link to pregnancy.
Treatment for spider veins may only be needed for cosmetic purposes but is it essential to get varicose veins treated to prevent further worsening of the condition. Untreated varicose veins can lead to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), chronic venous insufficiency, venous ulcers, etc.
Today, with enormous advancements in medical science and technology, painless and minimally invasive laser treatment options are available for varicose veins. Referred to as the Endovenous Laser Treatment, it is a quick procedure and has proven to deliver successful results for even the most critical cases.
Dr. Rajah V Koppala is an internationally qualified and extensively trained interventional radiologist with over 24 years of experience. He has successfully treated over 12000 patients, not only from India, but also from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Middle East, Europe, and America.
At Avis Hospitals, Dr. Rajah V Koppala only employs the USFDA approved treatment procedure for varicose veins. This endovenous laser ablation technique is suitable for people of all age groups and has a success rate of 95% with zero downtime.
Avis Hospitals offer 100% price assurance at the time of admission and also offer free colour doppler examination for all patients. Avis Hospitals also offers round the clock services for outstation patients along with 100% assistance for Mediclaim requests as well. We are your one-stop medical institution for the most genuine treatment of varicose veins. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Rajah V Koppala at Avis Hospitals today!