In the vast majority of cases, visible leg veins are either in the form of varicose veins or spider veins. While the two conditions have some similarities, there are important differences as well. The good news for people who have either condition is that a choice of effective treatment methods is available.
Varicose veins are not just visible through the skin; they can produce some uncomfortable symptoms too. People with the condition often describe the feelings that are produced as itching, tingling and numbness. There can also be a considerable amount of aching produced by the condition. Many times, the legs will start to swell. This usually happens in the lower legs and around the ankles. These symptoms have a tendency to get worse later in the day, especially for people who spend a lot of time on their feet. Individuals who must remain in a stationary seated position for extended periods can have these symptoms as well.
A common cause of varicose veins is faulty valves inside the vessels. They are there to keep the blood from flowing the wrong way due to the pull of gravity. When these valves deteriorate and no longer function as they should, the blood will begin to pool inside the veins. This puts pressure against the inside of the vessel walls and causes them to enlarge. Varicose veins develop as a result.
Varicose veins normally appear blue when they are seen through the skin. In addition, the enlargement of the vessels often causes bulging of the skin. These two things together can negatively affect the appearance.
Spider veins are similar to varicose veins. The main difference is the size of the impacted vessels. Spider veins develop in the capillaries, or smaller vessels that branch off from the larger ones. They do not usually produce symptoms. Instead, their impact is limited to the appearance. They usually show up in bunches. Rarely does a single vein appear in isolation. Instead, they look like lines that are woven together. This makes their appearance more conspicuous as they often resemble a spider web. Spider veins can be blue, red or purple.
If you are experiencing visible leg veins, you should make an appointment at The Dermatology, Laser and Vein Center to discuss treatment options. Varicose veins can lead to other health problems if they remain untreated. Both spider veins and varicose veins can cause appearance issues that are significant enough to hurt many individuals’ self-esteem. In these cases, treatments to eliminate the appearance of these vessels can make a tremendous difference in a person’s quality of life.