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Spider Veins vs. Varicose Veins: What’s the Difference?

Posted on November 30, 2021

You may have heard the words “spider veins” and “varicose veins” thrown around interchangeably, but do you know the difference between the two? About half the population in the U.S. suffers from some type of vein problem. It’s important understand what the two main conditions are, how you should recognize them, and whether you should see a doctor.

Both spider veins and varicose veins typically develop as a result of an underlying venous insufficiency, which hinders blood flow in the legs. However, they look somewhat different—and one is usually a more serious condition than the other.


Spider veins are very, very thin red or blue veins that appear just beneath the surface of the skin on your legs or face. They might look like a branched spider web, hence the name. When it comes to abnormal veins, spider veins are the more superficial type. Varicose veins are large twisting and bulging veins in the legs that are more noticeable than spider veins.

How It Feels

Spider veins usually don’t cause any pain. Varicose veins, on the other hand, can feel heavy, painful, and uncomfortable. Varicose veins might cause your legs to swell or get bigger if they become more serious.

Cause for Concern

There’s no reason to worry if you see spider veins because they usually don’t lead to other health issues. However, varicose veins can lead to more serious health problems such as non-healing sores, blood clots, and ulcers. This is especially true if the veins get larger or become painful.


Spider veins are usually only treated for cosmetic reasons. For those who want to wear their summertime shorts without feeling self-conscious about noticeable spider veins, minimally invasive treatments exist.

Varicose vein treatment, like treatment for spider veins, will improve the look of your legs as well and will also reduce or alleviate any burning, itching, tiredness, heaviness, or pain you may be dealing with. Since varicose veins can lead to more serious health problems, treating them can also stop further complications from developing.

Varicosity Vein Center offers minimally invasive treatments for spider veins and varicose veins with a short recovery time. You’ll be in and out of the clinic the same day and well on your way to more confidence! Contact our vein specialists for a free consultation today by clicking here.

Consult With Alabama’s Premier Vein Specialists

When you come to the best, you can expect the best. Begin your journey to optimal results by scheduling your consultation with one of our renowned vein specialists today. We look forward to providing you with the most enjoyable and effective vein treatments in Alabama.

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