If you have heard about spider and varicose veins, you might understand that they both are vascular conditions with some similarities. These similarities, however, are not enough that the two terms should be used interchangeably. When it comes down to spider vs varicose veins, there are some important differences to consider. These differences can be especially significant if you are suffering from either condition and are wondering about whether or not to seek treatment.
Varicose veins develop in the legs much more often than anywhere else in the body. To understand why this is the case, you can simply look at one of the basic laws of physics: the law of gravity. The purpose of the veins is to return the blood back to the heart and lungs in order for it to be oxygenated again to carry the oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. The legs are the lowest parts of the body and the farthest from the heart. This means that the blood must be pumped against the pull of gravity in order to get it back to the heart. This is especially true while you are standing.
To help the veins counteract the tendency for the blood to flow backwards because of the force of gravity, there are valves throughout them that act as checkpoints to make sure the blood can only flow one way. If these valves quit functioning as they should, the blood can pool in the veins. This puts added pressure on the vessel walls and can cause them to become enlarged. When this happens, varicose veins can develop.
Varicose veins are frequently visible through the skin. They can resemble small ropes or cords and often bulge out from the skin. They are often red or blue. For these reasons, many people seek ways to have them removed because of their appearance.
Varicose veins can do more than affect one’s appearance, however. They can be accompanied by itching and burning. They can also be quite painful. The swelling of the blood vessels can put pressure on the nerves. When the nerves become irritated as a result, these symptoms develop.
If you have varicose veins, you can be at an increased risk of developing blood clots if you also have other conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease. For these reasons, you should consult with our doctor about treatment options, regardless of whether you are concerned about their appearance.
Spider veins happen in the smaller blood vessels that branch off the larger ones. They are typically located closer to the skin. While their cause is similar to that of varicose veins, they are common on the face and chest, as well as the legs.
Unlike varicose veins, spider veins seldom result in any threats to a person’s health. The biggest issue with them is the way they look. They, too, can be red or blue and can resemble the web of a spider under the skin.
The good news is that regardless of the differences between spider vs varicose veins, both conditions can be treated by a variety of methods, many of which require no downtime. If you are suffering from either varicose or spider veins, you should consult with Dr. Mimi Lee regarding options to have them removed. Contact her office in Little Rock today to schedule an appointment.