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What Are The Differences Between Varicose Veins And Spider Veins?

Mar 02, 2021
Varicose and spider veins can be embarrassing for many patients who suffer from them.

Varicose and spider veins can be embarrassing for many patients who suffer from them. At Colorado Skin & Vein, we understand how these veins can affect your quality of life, and Dr. Verebelyi is the area’s leading expert in restoring patient’s vascular health.

What Are The Differences Between Varicose Veins And Spider Veins?


*Individual Results May Vary.

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are raised, swollen vessels, most commonly found on the legs. When the tiny valves within the vein fail, some of the blood in that vessel can fall back down the leg instead of heading towards the heart. This is known as venous reflux and causes the pressing in the lower part of the vessel to increase. Over time that increase pressure causes bulging of the vein walls. These types of issues are not only cosmetic concerns but often lead to medical issues such as swollen or aching legs.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins present as small thread-like vessels that are normally blue, pink, red, or purple clusters around the knees, ankles, or outside of the thighs. They are also commonly seen on the face, especially around the nose or in patients with Rosacea. Spider veins are relatively minor and mostly a cosmetic concern, but they can be a sign of a greater underlying condition especially when noted on the inner knee or ankle areas. Excessive standing, trauma, heredity, obesity, and UV exposure can all contribute to the appearance of spider veins.

How are Varicose and Spider Veins Different?

Spider veins and varicose veins are somewhat similar, but they have some key differences. Varicose veins can lead to a greater number of health concerns, some with very serious implications. They can also be uncomfortable in a way spider veins are usually not, causing leg cramping, Restless Leg Syndrome, pain, or a heavy, tired feeling weighing your legs down.

How Can Varicose or Spider Veins be Treated?

Spider veins on the legs are typically treated with sclerotherapy, which is a FDA-approved medication designed to damage the inner wall of the vessel and cause it to close. Spider veins of the face are best treated with Pulsed Dye Laser to locally close the vessel.

While varicose veins can also be treated with sclerotherapy, since they are sign of a deeper problem they usually require the feeding vein to be treated in order to get the best outcome. One treatment that is useful for varicose veins is Endovenous Radiofrequency (EVRF) which delivers radiofrequency energy delivered directly into the vein through an ultrasound-guided catheter. The delivery is precise and your varicose veins can be treated in 45-60 minutes. EVRF is extremely effective and has a faster recovery with less pain and complication risk is minimized.

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) and another option. Light waves are delivered directly into the damaged vessel through a tiny incision that won’t require sutures to close. The vessel walls then absorb the 1320 nm wavelength heat and collapse the dysfunctional vein without pain, swelling, or bruising. After 1-2 weeks, your symptoms should be alleviated.

Another treatment option is VenaSeal™, which is a medication that behaves like a glue. This closes the damaged vessel without heat, anesthesia, or other irritants. The vein is compressed at intervals along its length, closing for reabsorption by the body. This treatment is great for patient comfort with the need for fewer needle sticks.

You are in excellent hands with Dr. Verebelyi, who has performed thousands of these procedures over the last fifteen years. He has two board certifications consisting of both Family Medicine as well as Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. Dr. Verebelyi is also a registered vascular technician (RVT) meaning that in addition to his MD, he holds the same credentials as the ultrasound sonographers in the hospital. In addition, Dr. Verebely is an expert in energy based medicine, having written much of the material and co-chairing for the Fundamentals of Lasers in Health Care Course offered by the American Society of Lasers in Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS).Colorado Skin and Vein takes pride in keeping on the cutting-edge of vascular technology and treatments, so we bring the safest and most effective outcomes to Colorado patients.


Simply fill out the form on this page, and one of our highly trained staff members at Colorado Skin & Vein will reach out to your promptly to schedule your appointment.


"I went in to Dr. Verebelyi for Bio-T he explained the procedure completely and was very professional. I was so please with the office that I had some hair removal done. The office is always helpful and prompt with scheduling. I’m very happy with my results and if I have any question they’re glad to answer every thing to my satisfaction."



Take the Next Step

To request your varicose or spider vein consultation with us, please call (303) 683-3235 or fill out our online contact form today. Colorado Skin & Vein serves Englewood and the greater Denver, CO area.