What is the Difference Between Varicose and Spider Veins?

The circulatory system has a big job to do and it is no surprise that sometimes things can go wrong. This is the case with the visible vein disorders, varicose and spider veins, which can happen to almost anyone. There are differences in appearance between the two vascular disorders.

Varicose Veins

varicose veins

Varicose veins visibly bulge from beneath the skin. Sometimes they look like purple, blue or red, uneven cords. Other times the color does not show and it simply looks like small ropes or lumps just beneath the skin. Leg pain and swelling often occurs with this condition, which is caused by damaged valves. These allow blood to collect in the limb, making the vessels swell.

This condition can possibly lead to more serious health issues such as skin ulcers and increase the chances of blood clots deep in the leg, otherwise known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Spider Veins

spider veins

These are called such because they resemble the branching, spindly legs of a spider. They may appear blue or red and are smaller than the varicose form. This does not usually cause much discomfort, but they may make a person feel self-conscious and so are sometimes removed for cosmetic reasons.