varicose veins vs spider veins

Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

If you are a doctor, pharmacist, or know your biology, then you should be accustomed to the term spider veins and varicose veins. However, if you are not, you will get to know shortly as we will be discussing the two physical abnormalities and their causes.

There is a slight hint in the name. Both of these bodily deformities occur in your veins. What we are trying to imply is that, sometimes, weird veins may pop up in your arm or legs.

In such a case, you are suffering from either spider veins or varicose veins. But knowing the difference between spider veins and varicose veins is tricky.

Let’s discuss the differences between varicose and spider veins.


Spider Veins

Spider Veins on The Leg

Have you ever seen a dark patch of skin with spider-like veins popping out? Well, that is what spider veins are, to be very precise. Now, spider veins occur for a reason. It should be quite evident that it happens because there is something wrong with your body.

Such phenomena occur when blood starts to fill up in veins that are located near the skin. Thus, it causes that spider-web-like effect. Now, there could be many reasons why these occur. It can be hereditary, caused by obesity, trauma, or ups and downs in your hormone levels.

Generally, this issue is more common as you grow older. Another cause of it can be pregnancy.

Also read the differences between artery and veins.


Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins

Let us talk about the other issue, varicose veins. The similarity between these two types of vein abnormalities is their appearance. However, the cause is quite different. You see, the reason why varicose veins occur in your body is because of inflamed veins. Because of the inflation, they are quite noticeable.

The color of varicose veins ranges from blue to even dark purple. Do not think that this is that attractive vein-pop that occurs on bodybuilders or fitness models. The cause of such a thing is quite dangerous, and it can lead to a very serious issue. Therefore, getting it checked is mandatory (the same goes for spider veins).

Apart from the obvious display of veins, there are a few other indications that you might have related to this.

  1. Pain
  2. Discomfort at the limb where your veins are sighted
  3. Swollen feet or ankles

So, now that you have an okay idea regarding the two, let us hop in and find out the dissimilarities between the two medical conditions.


The Differences Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Well, there are a few differences between the two issues;

The Pain

When it comes to spider veins, you feel no pain. The veins that cause that web-like effect are slightly damaged, which allows them to showcase such an effect. Due to the small injuries, the veins twist over each other and cause that problem. Hence, generally, no pain or discomfort is felt.

With varicose veins, that is not the case. Conventionally, the cause of such a problem is swollen veins. Now, swollen veins can be excruciating. So, varicose veins are actually quite distressful. The pain can be as severe as causing ankle or other joint pains and more.

Sometimes, varicose veins appear during pregnancy. It is quite common actually. But taking a remedy is necessary. During such a time, it is not wise to cause any kind of discomfort to the mother. Hence, if you think that the mother is having this problem, get her checked immediately.



This is where both of these are quite similar. Nonetheless, there is a way of noticing the difference. Generally, varicose veins tend to be bigger than spider veins. We have already stated that varicose veins are caused by swollen veins. So, there will be a size difference.

Varicose veins tend to be more sizeable. Also, varicose veins retain a hue that is in the blue spectrum. We are implying that varicose veins vary from blue to dark purple in color. Now, let us talk about spider veins.

Spider veins are smaller in size. Instead of being big and bulky, spider veins are more like a cluster of veins, similar to a spider’s web. Also, the cause of spider veins is a cluster of veins. Unlike varicose veins, their color scheme varies from blue, red, and purple.

The reason behind this is that the blood is getting stuck for too long in the case of spider veins.


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The Cure

Varicose & spider veins cure

If you are not bothered by the spider veins, then there is nothing you need to do. Nevertheless, if it is bothering you, then we are happy to announce that you can fix it up quite easily. Plus, the procedure is not very complicated. Thus, if you have operation frights, then you have nothing to fear.

The procedure is called sclerotherapy. It is exceptionally safe. All the doctor is going to do is inject saline and detergent solution in your vein (it is completely harmless) and get rid (or make them less visible) of the eye-soring (only if you consider it to be) veins from your body.

Now, the treatment for varicose veins depends on the severity. If it is not painful, then you could try sclerotherapy. But as the severity increases, the severity of the procedure increases. Let us give you a list of all of the treatments, except for Sclerotherapy.

  • Foam-based sclerotherapy is quite similar to conventional sclerotherapy.
  • A laser can be used to treat a moderate level varicose vein.
  • Procedures that require radiofrequency or laser along with a catheter are for more intense varicose issues.
  • Vein shedding & vein ligation are used in cases where the vein is heavily damaged.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy & endoscopic vein surgery can be used for the most severe cases of varicose veins.


Final Words

It can be quite difficult to tell the difference between spider veins and varicose veins, but if you have given our article a thorough read, you will not face such a situation.

If you have any of the two problems, seek help from a doctor and get treatment.

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