Many people suffer from exposed veins in their legs, but they may be confused about the difference between varicose veins and spider veins. While both types of veins can be vary frustrating and hard to deal with, one of them is far more serious than the other. The varicose variety of vein is a very large, and often very bumpy, vein that grew due to swelling in the blood vessels. The vast majority of this type of veins are seen in the lower legs, although some people do develop them in other parts of the body. The varicose vein can easily be seen through the skin, and it is typically very obvious due to its purplish red (sometimes blue) color and its raised surface. Spider veins are far thinner and smaller. While they may be visible through the skin, they are not raised and do not cause as much discomfort as a varicose vein typically does.

Varicose Vein Solutions

The way that varicose veins treatments are treated depends on the patient’s specific needs. Vein surgery has changed a great deal over the last several decades. While the most common option was once a surgical procedure known as vein stripping, this option has largely fallen out of favor in the medical community. Vein stripping can be an intensive surgical process that may put the patient under unnecessary stress and risk. The better solution that has emerged in the last decade or so is known as sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is a method of vein removal that targets the vein with a special sclerosing foam. The foam is injected within each varicose vein, and then it prompts a defensive response from the vein as it is an irritant. The vein’s defense mechanism causes it to seal itself off. Once that blood supply has been shut off, the vein will eventually dry up and shrink down. The result is smooth skin where a knobby, bumpy, vein used to be.

Spider Vein Solutions

Spider veins are dramatically thinner and smaller than their varicose counterparts. A spider vein is usually seen in the lower leg, but may even show up in areas like the face in some patients. The spider vein is usually red, purple, or blue. While it does show through the skin in many cases, some spider veins stay almost completely concealed. Treatment solutions for spider veins are customized for the individual. Many people benefit from a sclerosant procedure, the same procedure used to remove varicose veins.