Varicose Veins and Spider Veins: What You Should Know About Causes and Treatments

Mar 4 08:23 2015 Karen Denovich Print This Article

Varicose veins are very swollen and raised above the surface of the skin and can be dark purple or blue and look like twisted, bulging cords. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, however; they are smaller. Spider veins also are often red or blue and are closer to the skin's surface than varicose veins.

By the time we reach our 40s and 50s,Guest Posting most of us have had at least one varicose vein or spider vein, those purplish, twisted-looking veins that tend to show up most commonly on the legs and feet.

But while both types of veins may be caused by the same problem, they can result in symptoms that are markedly different.

What are varicose veins and spider veins?

When we think of our circulatory system, we tend to think of the heart doing all the work in making sure the blood makes its way through the body - from the heart, out to the arms and legs and back again. But the heart actually has some help.

Inside your veins are tiny valves or "cusps". These valves are designed to work one way - to allow blood to move toward the heart, and prevent it from backing up. As these valves open and close, blood is "helped along" in its journey back toward the heart and lungs.

Over time, these tiny valves can start to malfunction. When that happens, blood is allowed to pool behind the valves, causing weak spots in the veins that can eventually bulge and become purplish or bluish - common characteristics of varicose veins and spider veins.

The "pooling-up" can also cause symptoms like pain, achiness, heaviness and fatigue in the affected leg. Sometimes, the veins can become itchy, and over-scratching results in sores or ulcers in the skin above the vein.

What causes varicose and spider veins to develop?

As mentioned, older age is one major risk factor, but there are others. People whose family members are prone to varicose and spider veins are more likely to experience them, even at younger ages, and so are people who are overweight.

Men and women whose jobs require long periods of sitting or standing can also increase their risks for developing varicose veins and spider veins; that's because the pressure on the legs remains elevated throughout the day, causing vein walls to weaken as well as placing extra strain on the tiny valves.

While varicose veins can cause painful symptoms, spider veins tend to be mainly cosmetic, which means that while they may look unattractive, they tend not to be associated with the painful, aching symptoms of varicose veins. But that doesn't mean they don't need to be addressed and evaluated by an experienced vein specialist.

Getting Treatment

Today, there are more options than ever for treating varicose and spider veins safely and effectively. From minimally-invasive microphlebectomy procedures to remove the vein to laser-based and sclerotherapy options that seal the vein off so circulation can be diverted to neighboring veins, minimally invasive procedures are helping men and women get rid of these ugly veins quickly so they can look and feel better fast. With so many treatment options available, the best way to decide which procedure is right for you is be scheduling an evaluation.

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Karen Denovich
Karen Denovich

For more information on vein disease and treatment options or to take a risk assessment in Montgomery, Alabama visit .

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