Varicose veins and spider veins are different versions of the same problem. Spider veins are smaller and appear as red or purple threads just under the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are much larger and occur when the valves that push the blood back to the heart become weak, and the blood begins to pool in the vein. This causes the vein to become swollen, twisted and bulging.
Both varicose veins and spider veins are unsightly and embarrassing. However, the good news is, they can be completely removed. Varicose and spider veins usually appear in the legs because the veins in the legs need to carry the blood against gravity. This is why any pressure on the legs can interfere with the process.
Spider veins may appear when the blood backs up because of the weak valves. However, they can also be caused in women by hormone changes during pregnancy, puberty and menopause. Varicose veins and spider veins are common in men and women, but more common in women. About half of the people 50 years or older have some kind of vein problem.
There are other factors that may increase the risk of developing spider or varicose veins. They are:
• Obesity, which puts pressure on the leg veins
• Sitting or standing for long periods
• Heredity, which means if parents or grandparents have varicose veins, there is a good chance their children will also have them
Common signs that you are developing varicose or spider veins are:
• Aching in the legs that is worse after standing or sitting for long periods
• Cramping or throbbing in the legs
• The feeling of heaviness in the legs
• Swelling in the legs
• An itchy rash that develops on the calves
• Dark areas appearing on the skin
• Restless leg syndrome
Fortunately, we have several treatments available for both spider and varicose veins that are non-invasive. During a consultation with our expert at Advanced Vein and Laser Centre, you can learn about the options for treating your problems. Some of the treatments we offer are:
• Sclerotherapy, which is a procedure that involves a tiny injection of a solution into the vein that will gradually make it disappear
• VeinGogh® treatments, which use high-frequency energy as heat to redirect blood flow into healthier veins
• VeinViewer® device, which is a vein illuminator device that provides high-definition imagery for a more hands-on experience for the physician
Schedule Your Appointment Today
While varicose veins and spider veins are not usually considered serious medical problems, they may develop into serious problems if they are left untreated. Serving the Chicago area, Advanced Vein and Laser Centre in Libertyville offers a wide variety of vein treatment options.
Our specialist can diagnose and treat your venous issues, so your legs can be smooth and clear again. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.