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A 43-year-old member asked:

What are varicose veins and spider veins like?

4 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ted King
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
A range: They range in size from 0.1 mm to as much as 2 cm or more in size. Spider veins vary in color based on where they are in the skin. The brightest red ones sit on top of the skin. The deeper they are in the skin, the bluer they become. As they become larger and greener, they are called reticular veins. The are under the skin. Larger and squigglier veins are varicose veins.
Dr. Steven Zimmet
Aesthetic Medicine 43 years experience
Spider & varicose: Varicose veins are bulging blue veins larger than 3 mm in diameter, almost always found on the legs. Spider veins are red, blue or purple veins on the surface of the skin, up to 1 mm in diameter. They commonly occur on the legs and face, and may be seen elsewhere.
Dr. Joel Gotvald
Vascular Surgery 25 years experience
Varicose Spider Vein: Spider veins are the very small thread sized veins below 1mm located within the skin and are usually red or purple. Varicose veins are the larger blue bulging veins that are serpentine looking, often looking worm-like, located beneath the skin, usually > 3mm. Small blue or purple variocse veins in the range of 1-3mm are referred to as reticular veins. Varicose veins are the most serious of these.
Dr. John Landi
Phlebology 47 years experience
Several treatments: Varicose veins are due to leaking(refluxing) valves in the saphenous system and spider veins could be due to leaking valves or simply to aging, genetics or pregnancies. The treatment for each varies - laser closure and microphlebectomies for vv and sclerotherapy for spider veins. You should see a vein specialist for a full venous evaluation with a venous reflux ultrasound.

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A 31-year-old member asked:

How can you tell if it's varicose veins or if it's spider veins?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Rodolfo Farhy
Cardiology 36 years experience
The size: Spider veins are small hair-like size blood vessels in the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are much larger, thicker walls, larger in size and located in the subcutaneous tissue.
A 40-year-old member asked:

I think I have spider veins or varicose veins? What do I do?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Craig Carter
Thoracic Surgery 40 years experience
See your doctor: Initial therapy is compression stockings, at least 20- 30 mm Hg pressure. See your doctor for a complete examination and recommendations.
A 32-year-old member asked:

What causes varicose and spider veins?

3 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ted King
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Heredity: Far and away, the major cause of varicose and spider veins is heredity. Other factors can contribute to their development if you have inherited a tendency to get varicose veins in the first place. These include prolonged standing, age, pregnancy, hormones, and trauma. Surprisingly, obesity has not been shown to be a cause of varicose veins. It does increase the risk of complications though.
A 40-year-old member asked:

How are varicose or spider veins treated?

4 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ted King
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Several ways: Spider veins are most commonly treated with sclerotherapy. If you have varicose veins, a combination of things is often used. With varicose veins, it important to have an ultrasound of your veins to see if there is any underlying vein trouble that is causing your visible veins. This is usually treated with endovneous laser or rf. The rest can be treated with phlebectomy, sclerotherapy, or both.
A 42-year-old member asked:

How do I treat spider/varicose veins on my own?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Welker
General Surgery 27 years experience
You don't.: There is no safe and effective home remedy for varicose veins. See your dr.!

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Last updated Sep 13, 2020
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