Spider veins and varicose veins are both forms of venous insufficiency (or venous disease), but they are not the same condition, and each condition cannot develop into the other. These two conditions are commonly mistaken for being the same vein disease. It is crucial to know the difference between these two conditions, because varicose veins can be the sign of a more serious medical issue occurring now or in the future, but spider veins, for the most part, are a cosmetic issue.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins, also referred to as telangiectasia, are small, thin, flat veins that appear close to the surface of the skin. They can be red, purple, and/or blue in color. These thin lines will appear in one of three different patterns: linear, arborizing, and spider. The good news is that there is treatment, called sclerotherapy, to diminish the protrusion of the veins.
Spider veins are most common in the legs and thighs, but can develop in some unexpected places like the face, hands and feet. The good news is that these veins are not essential to the venous system, and for the most part, there are no health risks with spider veins.
Spider veins can appear anywhere, even in facial veins typically around the nose, cheeks or under the eyes. Skin diseases such as rosacea and eczema can cause spider veins on the face. Also, too much sun exposure may also be a contributing factor to spider veins on the face including Smoking.
The underlying cause of prominent veins in the hands is the aging process. This typically happens because as one gets older there is less fatty tissue within the hand which leads to less elasticity and thinning skin over the delicate bones on the hand. This causes the hand veins to become more apparent under the skin and also as they ride over the bones.
Just as we see Spider Veins form in legs, Spider veins can develop in the feet as well. For many, this condition is overlooked because its usually pain free and hidden from public view and as a result it is often ignored. If left untreated, they could develop into varicose veins resulting into aching pain and discomfort and potentially indicate more serious circulatory problems down the road.
If you are experiencing any of these types of vein related issues, contact Dr. Fakhri at our office today to schedule a Vein Screening evaluation.