A very common question that is often asked of the staff at our Orlando vein center is whether or not spider veins are different from varicose veins and if they should be considered a serious problem. The answer is really not as complicated as you might think.
The cause of spider veins occurs when the normal circulation of blood in the small veins that lie closest to the skin’s surface is interrupted or becomes less efficient as a result of injury, hormonal changes, exposure to the sun, or weight gain. Most often, patients report the appearance of tiny lines that are blue or purple (sometimes red) lying smoothly in the skin. Some report that these lines are itchy or that they cause a burning sensation. Others report no pain but are concerned about their unsightly appearance. Spider veins are usually pencil thin (less than three millimeters in diameter), but a large web can make the skin actually look bruised. Spider veins are frequently the first sign of the potential for more serious vein health issues headed your way.
Varicose veins may appear to be rope-like, raised, and twisted. Some describe them as bulges in the skin. Discoloration is not as obvious as they are with spider veins because they occur in veins that are not close to the skin. When the valves within the veins are not facilitating the flow of blood to the heart efficiently, blood flow is drastically reduced. Backward seepage of this blood collects and pools. As the pooling of blood enlarges, swelling of the vein then manifests as that crooked or web-like pattern across the affected area of skin. The symptoms of varicose veins can include swelling of the ankles and feet, itchiness, achiness, a heavy feeling, and deep pain.
It is important to note that varicose veins can occur so deep within the legs that there are no visible symptoms on the skin’s surface. Trust your instincts. If your legs aren’t looking or feeling quite right, it’s time to see a vein specialist. The staff at our Orlando vein center will guide you through evaluation, diagnosis, and developing a treatment plan that’s just right for you. Remember that evaluation and diagnosis of spider and/or varicose veins are non-invasive and causes no discomfort. You have nothing to lose and better venous health to gain. Call now to schedule an appointment 407-805-8989 at Florida Vein Care, or to visit us online, click here.