A New Jersey Vascular Doctor Explains 3 Important Differences between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

There are many ways in which spider veins and varicose veins are similar. Both are cosmetic issues because they’re not very attractive and keep those who have them from feeling good about their appearance, and both are caused by vein disease. But if you are considering vein disease treatment in New Jersey, there are important differences between the two conditions that you should be aware of.

  1. Varicose veins and spider veins are very different in appearance

According to our New Jersey vascular doctor, varicose veins tend to be large, 4 to 5 millimeters in diameter, and tend to protrude above the surface of the skin. They are usually bluish-purple in color (taking their coloration from the deoxygenated blood that has pooled in them). Spider veins are small, less than 1 millimeter in diameter. They are red or purple in color, and tend to appear on legs, arms, or elsewhere on the body in web-like clusters (thus the name) or in “nests” that resemble a bruise.

  1. Varicose veins and spider veins affect you very differently

Besides spoiling your appearance, spider veins don’t usually cause negative symptoms. They rarely cause pain the way varicose veins do, and as a result the removal of spider veins is usually performed for cosmetic reasons.

Varicose veins, on the other hand, cause a long list of painful and debilitating physical side effects. The disease that causes them (chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI) impairs your circulation, so failing to seek treatment for your varicose veins often results in legs that ache constantly and feel weak and tired. Untreated varicose veins can leave you unable to stand or walk for more than a few minutes. Worse, they also cripple your immune system, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Varicose vein removal is performed as often to alleviate these symptoms as it is for cosmetic reasons.

  1. Varicose veins and spider veins are treated differently

If you choose to seek treatment to eliminate your spider veins, the standard treatment methodology is ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. This is a gentle procedure in which your New Jersey vein experts use a tiny needle to inject a chemical solution directly into the affected veins, causing them to collapse.

The larger, more problematic varicose veins are also treated with sclerotherapy, but more extensive minimally-invasive procedures such as endovenous laser ablations and microphlebectomy may also be used, depending on the case.

The exact type of treatment you receive depends on your individual condition, of course, but one thing that will be the same whether you are having your spider veins or your varicose veins removed is that the treatment will be fast (usually less than an hour), painless (often requiring only a local anesthetic), and non-traumatic (there is minimal “recovery time” because there is nothing to recover from). To find out more about how we treat spider veins and varicose veins at our vein treatment center in New Jersey, give us a call today at 201-693-4847. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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