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Spider/Thread Veins or Varicose Veins: What’s the Difference?
How to Get Rid of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins<


Sep 13, 2022

Published By:

Este Medical Group

If you’re suffering from unsightly spider and/or varicose veins and you want to know all about them and how to treat them, we’ve put together this handy guide. Read on to discover everything you need to know about the causes of varicose veins et al.

Are Spider Veins, Varicose Veins?

First up, let’s set things straight. Spider veins (also called thread veins) and varicose veins are two different things:

  • Spider veins are small, twisted veins, and are found just below the skin’s surface. They are around 1mm – 3mm in diameter and are most commonly found on the legs and face. They can be red, blue, or purple in appearance
  • Varicose veins are lumpy, swollen veins which are blue or a deep purple in colour. The most common places to find varicose veins are on the legs and feet

What Causes Varicose and Spider Veins?

If you’re looking to find out what causes spider veins, then we’re here to tell you. Spider veins are caused when little valves that are inside the veins become weak. These valves push blood in the direction of your heart. When they weaken and their function is impaired, some blood may flow back through the valve and then pool in the vein. This is how spider veins appear.

As for what causes varicose veins, it’s in a similar vein (no pun intended) to how spider veins are caused – just on a larger scale, with larger veins. When blood pressure increases in the veins, and valves in the veins become weaker, blood is able to pool, which in turn causes the vein to swell and stretch. The vein walls become damaged and twisted and thus varicose veins can form.

Does Everyone Develop Spider and Varicose Veins?

You may be one of the lucky people who manages to go through life without developing these annoying veins. However, some people are more prone to developing them than others. Varicose veins can be caused by increased pressure due to -

  1. Being female
  2. Your hereditary makeup
  3. Pregnancy
  4. Having a leg injury
  5. Smoking
  6. Being overweight
  7. Medication such as the pill or HRT

Spider veins, on the other hand, can be caused by -

  1. Genetics
  2. The ageing process
  3. Obesity
  4. Fluctuating hormone levels

How to Get Rid of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Now we’ve covered what is the cause of spider veins and varicose veins, you’re probably keen to find out how to get rid of varicose veins and their smaller thread vein cousins. You’ll be pleased to hear that there are some things you can do to help prevent spider veins from forming. They include -

  • Living an active lifestyle – if you spend large amounts of time sitting down or being sedentary, you’re more likely to develop spider veins
  • Wear suncream regularly
  • Try not to go in hot tubs or saunas too often
  • Try wearing compression socks
  • Keep a healthy weight

If you’ve already got spider or varicose veins and you want to know if it’s possible to treat them once they’ve formed, then fortunately, these days there are treatments available.

At Este Medical, we offer microsclerotherapy for the treatment of spider veins and varicose veins. Microsclerotherapy involves a salt solution being injected straight into your veins. The veins respond to this solution by swelling and sticking together, and finally sealing shut. Once this happens, the veins become scar tissue and are gradually reabsorbed into the body. Blood is then re-routed to healthy veins. You may see results after just one session, but in general, you’ll need a course of treatments to ensure your spider and varicose veins are dealt with properly.

Can Spider Veins turn into Varicose Veins?

If you’re worried that your spider veins might progress into varicose veins, there’s no need to be. Spider veins don’t usually lead to varicose veins, and both types of veins can exist separately of each other. While varicose veins can be uncomfortable, spider veins don’t often hurt and are usually just an unsightly annoyance.

Get your annoying veins dealt with at Este Medical and feel confident in your own skin – give us a call today and book in for a no-obligation consultation today.

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