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Varicose and Spider Veins

Looking down at your legs may not be the most pleasant sight if you are one of the 80 million Americans that fall victim to the existence of spider or varicose veins every year. These common nuisances are often bundled into the same category of aggravating blemishes and tossed to the side, leaving many in the dark about what they really are. So let’s get to the bottom of the daunting question. What are the similarities and differences between varicose and spider veins?

Both are typically more common in women and caused by the same things: heredity, weight, level of activity, and hormones. For women, pregnancy, ingestion of birth control pills and menopause can all trigger formation.

When taking a closer look (literally) you will find that spider veins tend to be smaller in size, averaging less than 1mm in diameter while varicose veins can be upwards of 3mm or more. Both are colored red, blue or purple.

Spider Veins tend to sprawl out in a web like formation with no symptoms of pain or discomfort. If you are experiencing issues with your spider veins it is most likely a secondary symptom of their vulnerability because of how close to the surface of the skin they rest. If blood is seen, it is recommended that you consider whether you have roughly exfoliated the skin or bumped it on another surface recently.

In line with the definition of varicose: abnormally or unusually enlarged or swollen, Varicose veins typically bulge from the thigh and leg causing itching, throbbing, restless leg symptoms, night cramps, or fatigue in the leg.

There are many avenues to consider when dealing with unruly veins. Compression garments are a feasible option for reducing symptoms and slowing the progression of vein formation. Since lifestyle is such a contributor, staying active is a great precautionary measure to take no matter what stage of vein development you are experiencing. If you are experiencing further concerns, call Ponte Vedra Vein Institute today to schedule a complimentary vein ultrasound screening appointment and to speak with our experienced medical staff.