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What's the Difference Between Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?

Last updated 6 years ago

Anyone who has either varicose or spider veins will tell you they are not pleasant. But what’s the real difference between the two?       

Varicose veins, caused by venous reflux disease, often start below the skin and extend beyond it, forming knots and tangles that are visible (most often on the legs). The engorged veins can easily become a medical condition if not treated because they often cause discomfort, cramping, painful throbbing, or burning sensations in the legs, and can grow into leg ulcers and other increasingly serious conditions.

Unlike varicose veins, spider veins are thought of as a cosmetic issue. They too are caused by venous reflux, but they become colorful veins, red or blue, just at the surface of the skin. They are also mostly found on the legs, but can affect other areas of the body as well. Though not aesthetically pleasing, their spider web shape does not usually cause physical pain.

More than 25 million people in America are affected by varicose and spider veins. There are many factors that can cause varicose and spider veins. They include but are not limited to:

  • Genetics.
  • Standing for unusually long periods.
  • Obesity.
  • Serious hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause, etc.).

Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan offers many options for varicose vein treatment. Our procedures, most likely covered by your insurance, can ease the painful symptoms that often accompany these conditions with minimal invasion.

Patients can expect a short recovery with little-to-no scarring. We not only offer services like Sclerotherapy, VNUS Closure, and Ambulatory Phlebectomy, but we also provide you with the knowledge and tools to treat and prevent these vein issues in the future.

If you notice unusual veins on your skin or are experiencing discomfort caused by varicose veins, contact Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan today for a free varicose vein screening.


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