The short answer to this question is yes and no. Spider veins and varicose veins are different in appearance but have similar underlying causes.
Spider veins are small, discolored veins that look like spider webs. They are usually not painful (although itching or minor burning may develop) and can be treated cosmetically through a procedure such as sclerotherapy. Varicose veins appear as blue or purple bulging veins and can cause pain, numbness and fatigue. Serious cases of varicose veins can cause leg ulcers.
Malfunctioning valves within a blood vessel cause both spider and varicose veins. Veins return blood back to the heart, but when a valve does not function properly the blood can flow backward into the vein, causing vein enlargement.
Contributing factors to the development of varicose and spider veins include:
- Family history
- Standing for long periods of time (a profession that requires such)
- Being overweight
- Hormonal issues
You may not experience symptoms when varicose veins are developing. But common symptoms you might have are:
- Muscle cramps
- Skin discoloration
- Sensations in the legs including throbbing, tingling or burning
- Leg fatigue
- Swollen legs or ankles
- Leg ulcers
Different treatment options can be pursued depending on the person’s symptoms and medical history. Some procedures costs may be covered by insurance if done for medical rather than cosmetic reasons. Schedule a consultation with the Vein Clinic of NC today.