What is the Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?

With warmer weather only a few months away, people are starting to think about their summer plans. We’re making plans to be more active and, let’s be honest, show a bit more skin. Sadly, some are self-conscious about visible veins in their legs. Approximately 50 percent of adults, male and female, suffer from some type of visible vein disorder. The two most common are spider veins and varicose veins. But these conditions are not simply cosmetic; they can easily affect your daily health and well-being. What is the difference between spider veins and varicose veins? What are your options for treating them?

Spider Veins

The network of veins and capillaries underneath your skin is usually invisible. When these tiny pathways are damaged, however, they can become visible. These minute, threadlike veins rarely stick up above skin level and are only noticeable because their red, blue or purple color contrasts with our skin. Since they are relatively unlikely to cause discomfort, we tend to consider them as a cosmetic issue.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins appear because the vessels in your legs are under a lot of stress. The work of pumping blood uphill can cause the vein walls to weaken over time. Normally, tiny valves in your veins keep blood flowing in the right direction (uphill). If these valves fail, blood can pool in your veins, causing weak walls to bulge out. Unlike spider veins, varicose veins are likely to be painful, and can even cause ulcers and infection to develop. Even worse, pooled blood can form clots, a condition known as Deep Vein Thrombosis. If the clots break off and travel to the lungs, heart or brain, your health could be in serious danger.

What Treatments Are Available?

Southtowns Radiology offers a definitive, permanent treatment for painful, unsightly veins. Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) can completely erase problematic veins, allowing your vessels to return to their normal form and function. We offer EVLA at our office in Hamburg, NY, but we also have offices in West Seneca and Orchard Park where we offer other cutting-edge services to clients across the greater Buffalo region. If you’re interested in your options, call us today or schedule an appointment online.