Spider Veins vs. Varicose Veins: What is the Difference?

Spider veins and varicose veins are two venous diseases that affect millions of people in the United States. These conditions can cause unsightly features to develop, and can even become painful if the underlying causes are not treated.

The interesting thing about these conditions is that they are both caused by problems with the veins. They are manifestations of the body’s inability to circulate blood as freely as it should be able to.

Two Diseases with Many Common Causes

The first step to understanding spider veins and varicose veins is to explore how these two conditions develop. Both of these conditions arise from problems with blood circulation within the veins. Valves within the veins tend to be unable to circulate a high enough volume of blood. This blood backs up, which in turn causes the veins to stretch and distort.

The causes of these problems can be numerous. They can include water retention, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, a lack of exercise, diets too high in salt and so on. The thing to take away from this is that the causes of venous diseases tend to be similar.

The Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

There are two main factors that separate spider veins from varicose veins. Spider veins tend to include smaller blood vessels that are nearer to the skin than other blood vessels. When these expand due to poor blood flow, they tend to become more pronounced and may press against the skin above them. This is what gives spider veins their telltale blue appearance.

Varicose veins tend to be larger than spider veins. These include the larger veins responsible for supplying tissues with a larger amount of blood. These tend to be deeper in the skin than the blood vessels responsible for spider veins, but their expansion tends to be larger. This is why varicose veins tend to be felt rather than seen. They can cause everything from rigid bumps to painful swelling.

Treating Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

While spider veins and varicose veins are two similar conditions, it’s important to realize that they are separate from one another. Spider veins typically require more precise treatments, like laser surgery, which in turn seals the veins. Varicose veins often require a more robust approach. Foam sclerotherapy, for example, sticks to the walls of the vein. This allows a clot to form, which in turn diminishes the blood flow past the treatment area. This allows varicose veins to be absorbed by the body as they are unused.

The trick to receiving the most successful treatment for your spider veins and varicose veins resides with seeing a specialist capable of accurately diagnosing your needs. At Fox Vein Experts in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, we can use our experience to help you find a safe and effective treatment plan for all manners of venous disease. Contact us today to schedule your consultation to learn more.



Fox Vein Experts
2699 Stirling Road Suite 301-302A
Hollywood, FL 33312
Phone: (954) 289-3002

Pembroke Pines


Fox Vein Experts
603 N Flamingo Rd Suite 365
Pembroke Pines, FL 33028
Phone: 954-627-1045