Varicose Veins And Spider Veins: Are They The Same?


Vein and circulation-related issues have become quite commonplace today. Although it’s not certain why they have become extremely rampant, work environments and sedentary lifestyles could be causative factors.

Two of the most common vein conditions are spider veins and varicose veins. Although most people use the two terms interchangeably, they have distinct differences with each requiring unique treatment and management methods.

Spider veins vs varicose veins

Spider veins are tiny, web-like veins under the skin’s surface. They are usually less than a millimeter in diameter. They may appear blue, red, or purple clusters. Sometimes, spider veins could be confused with a bruise.

This condition usually appears on the face, chest, pelvic area, and legs. Spider veins are rarely a serious health concern. However, they could result in uncomfortable sensations such as burning or itching.

On the other hand, varicose veins are swollen or bulging veins that tend to develop on the legs. Varicose veins could be more than three millimeters. Due to the sheer amount of pooling blood, this condition could become quite painful and uncomfortable.

If left untreated, this condition could result in serious medical conditions such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Both conditions are directly caused by the buildup of blood in the veins.

Varicose veins and spider veins treatment

The two most common spider vein treatment methods are laser therapy and sclerotherapy. In the former, concentrated light energy is used on the affected area, causing the spider vein to disintegrate. In the latter, a chemical solution is introduced into the affected vein causing the condition to disappear slowly.

Varicose veins are rarely treated using laser therapy, but sclerotherapy is a viable option. Compression stockings are also used in patients with mild symptoms of varicose and spider veins. If you have severe varicose veins, your physician may recommend surgery.