Spider Veins vs Varicose Veins: Which Is Worse?

Spider Veins & Varicose Veins Treatment in youngstown

The terms “spider” and “varicose veins” are often used interchangeably, although they are two different types of vein problems. Varicose veins manifest as rising and swollen veins on a patient’s legs. On the other hand, spider veins are characterized by small, reddish-blue veins that look like sprouts.

It is essential to know the difference between the two conditions, even though several similar factors cause both. It’s also important to note that measures to get rid of spider veins vary from the measures to get rid of varicose veins.


Varicose Veins: What are They?

Varicose veins appear as large veins that snake and protrude above the patient’s skin surface. Several factors can lead to varicose veins; ultimately, gravity and the passage of time are responsible for the high pressure in these veins.

In turn, it can cause the veins to dilate and expand. For some people, varicose veins are only a problem because of their appearance, but for others, they can become uncomfortable or indicate more serious health problems.


Spider Veins: What are They?

Spider veins, or thread veins, are defective tiny veins that appear as thin lines or branched networks on patients’ legs. They are often located near the surface of the patient’s skin and can be recognized by their appearance.

Spider veins, usually purple, red, or blue, typically do not cause discomfort and are not a sign of deteriorating health. Their treatment is primarily for aesthetic reasons due to their appearance.


Varicose Veins Vs Spider Veins: Similarities

The same problems underlie both venous disorders. The difficulties with varicose veins are due to a malfunction of the blood vessel valves. The blood that flows through these veins does not continue to flow correctly, causing the veins to expand.

Spider veins are also due to a similar problem, but the likelihood of their development increases due to obesity, hereditary factors, menopause, and pregnancy.


Varicose Veins Vs Spider Veins: Differences

Spider and varicose veins share some common characteristics, but the main difference is their appearance. Below the patient’s skin surface, varicose veins appear as dilated and high blood vessels that twist and turn.

Spider veins, on the other hand, are tiny, superficial blood vessels. In addition, varicose veins can be very uncomfortable, while spider veins are painless in most cases.


Treatment Options

Our team of experts can provide answers to your problems with varicose veins and spider veins treatment, both of which have different therapy alternatives. Below are examples of the most advanced treatment options available today.


Venous Ablation with the Closure Fast Radiofrequency Catheter

Endovenous radiofrequency ablation, known as the Closure Fast procedure, is ideal for incompetent saphenous veins. During the procedure, doctors administer a local anesthetic. Then they insert a thin radiofrequency ablation catheter into the vein that requires treatment. The catheter delivers radiofrequency energy to close the vessel. 

Blood flow then redirects through the healthy nearby veins. The treated vein is gradually absorbed by the patient’s body. Symptom relief may be immediate or gradual depending on several factors.



Sclerotherapy involves injecting an irritant into the problem vein to treat small varicose or spider veins. The procedure causes the vein to contract and slowly break down over time by the body.

Gradually, the vein regresses, eliminating both aesthetic problems and the painful sensations associated with varicose veins. 

A newer sclerosant Varithena, is a chemical called polydochenol which is compounded with oxygen and carbon dioxide microbubbles to quickly close varicose veins, even if the veins are larger!


Phlebectomy with Outpatient Access

Doctors usually use the phlebectomy technique when the veins they are treating are too large for sclerotherapy.

Vein specialists can remove the veins during an outpatient procedure by making tiny perforations in the skin after applying a local anesthetic. Since the advent of Varithena, this is almost never required!



The FDA has given the green light for this method of treating long incompetent veins: A catheter is inserted into the damaged vein. Vein specialists then administer cyanoacrylate, a medical adhesive.

The procedure causes the vein walls to stick together, closing the vein completely. Once this happens, the body changes the direction of blood flow.


Prevention of Venous Diseases

Improving blood flow and maintaining healthy muscles can help reduce the likelihood of vein disease. You can prevent them by taking the same steps you use to relieve the pain they cause. Try the following steps;

  • Avoid wearing tight stockings or high heels
  • Wear compression stockings prescribed by your vein specialist
  • Try to change your standing or sitting posture frequently
  • Eat a diet low in sodium and high in fiber
  • Exercise as regularly as possible while wearing compression stockings
  • Pull your knees up to your chest when sitting or lying down
  • Watch your body weight


Signs and Symptoms of Venous Diseases

With vein problems, there are usually other warning signs besides visible ones. If you have any or all of the following symptoms, you could be experiencing spider veins or varicose veins;

  • Such as burning, throbbing, or itching in your legs
  • Muscle cramps or restless legs especially at night
  • A feeling of fatigue in your legs
  • Swelling in your lower legs or feet


Get in Touch for More Details on Varicose Veins & Spider Veins Treatment Options in Youngstown, Ohio

The good news is you can schedule a free initial consultation with us to find out which type of treatment will be most effective for your vein disease. We look forward to being there for you.

Our philosophy emphasizes that competent physicians must be technically proficient, empathetic, and compassionate with their patients.

Our vein specialist, Lawrence Schmetterer, M.D., F.A.C.S, together with his team, takes as much time as necessary to thoroughly discuss all of your concerns and listen carefully to your feedback.

We then develop a personalized treatment strategy based on your symptoms, signs, and pre-existing conditions to provide the best treatment for varicose veins or spider veins. 

Let our vein experts do everything they can to make your experience pleasant. Thanks to our in-house treatment solutions designed for patient comfort and convenience. Feel free to Schedule an Appointment with Us! 


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