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How are varicose veins and spider veins different?

How are varicose veins and spider veins different?

Hi, I’m Mike Bardwil. I am founder of Texas Vein and Cosmetics Specialists. I am a vascular surgeon, boarded in both general and vascular surgery, and I have been practicing surgery now for 25 years. How are varicose veins and spider veins different? Spider veins are the small red and blue veins that are seen on the surface of the skin. These can be present on the legs, face, chest, arms, anywhere throughout the body. These are surface veins. Heredity appears to be the largest factor in terms of where they come from. Although sun exposure, particularly in the face, can be a source as well.

Varicose veins on the other hand are those large, bulging, ropy veins underneath the surface of the skin. These are associated more with circulation issues. The one way valves are present in the veins, that allow the flow of blood up the leg, usually are not functioning properly. So the blood backs up into the veins and they become distended over a period of time. The varicose veins are usually associated with an underlying medical condition involving the veins. The spider veins are usually cosmetic. However, spider veins, if they become dense enough, particularly in the ankle area can bleed spontaneously. When this occurs, treatment of these veins would be considered medically necessary.

Dr. Michael Bardwil
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