Spider Veins vs. Varicose Veins

Veins have the enormous responsibility of delivering blood to the heart; therefore, their importance cannot be overstated. However, some veins malfunction and develop an unsightly appearance that is visible through the skin. Spider veins and varicose veins can be treated with either sclerotherapy or endovenous laser ablation to restore your skin to a healthy, smooth, and natural appearance.

Spider Veins

Spider veins are unsightly, thin veins that are red, purple, or blue and take on the appearance of spider webs or tree branches. About 50 percent of the time, these small blood vessels, also called telangiectasias, are a sign of a deeper problem in the venous system. Spider veins can occur nearly anywhere on the body but are most commonly found on the face and legs.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are bulging, twisted veins with a prominent, rope-like appearance. Most often found in the legs, they can cause aching, pain, swelling, leg cramps, and skin discoloration. Varicose veins may even lead to health complications such as blood clots, severe bleeding, chronic skin ulcers, restless leg syndrome, or decreased leg function.

Causes of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

While distinctly different in appearance, spider veins and varicose veins have related causes. Both are caused by backward blood flow due to excess pressure on the veins. Obesity, standing or sitting for great lengths of time, heredity, trauma, aging, changing hormones, pregnancy, menopause, sun exposure, and venous insufficiency are additional causes of spider veins and varicose veins.

Treatment of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Spider veins and varicose veins are generally considered to be unattractive, but they present more than just a cosmetic threat. They can also be indicators or causes of more serious medical issues. Therefore, it is important to get them diagnosed and treated early on. Spider veins can be treated with sclerotherapy, and varicose veins can be treated with endovenous laser ablation.

Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins

Sclerotherapy Before and After Photos

For sclerotherapy, typically an FDA-approved foam medication is injected into the spider vein, causing it to close. The vein walls become sticky and seal shut, ultimately collapsing. The natural blood flow is redirected into other nearby veins, and the now useless spider vein slowly fades away as the body flushes out the damaged blood vessels.

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) for Varicose Veins

Endovenous Laser Ablation Before and After Photos

For EVLA, a small, 1/2mm laser fiber is inserted into the damaged vein. This laser transmits light waves that heat the vein, causing it to close and collapse. As with sclerotherapy, the natural blood flood redirects into other healthy veins, and the vein is removed by the body’s immune system over the next few months.

Both sclerotherapy and EVLA can be important steps to achieve beautiful legs. Treatment for spider veins and varicose veins can prevent unwanted health problems caused by backward blood flow, and it can vastly improve the appearance of your skin.

To receive vascular treatment for your spider veins, varicose veins, or other vascular lesions, schedule your personal consultation here at Colorado Skin & Vein. Please call (303) 683-3235 or complete our online contact form to book your appointment today.

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