Can Spider Veins Become Varicose Veins?

Can Spider Veins Become Varicose Veins?

Spider Varicose Vein treatment York, Lancaster

Can Spider Veins Become Varicose Veins?

Can Spider Veins Become Varicose Veins?

September 20, 2022

When veins grow, dilate, and become overfilled with blood, varicose veins develop. They often have a bluish-purple or red hue and a raised, puffy appearance. Sometimes they hurt a lot. On the other hand, smaller than varicose veins are spider veins, also called thread veins.

Most of the time, they are red. They sometimes look like tree branches or spider webs. While the skin bulges outward in varicose veins, spider veins are usually visible under the skin. The legs or face are the typical locations for spider veins.

Get spider veins or varicose veins treated in York or Lancaster, PA with The Advanced Vein and Laser Center which specializes in minimally invasive vascular surgery procedures for patients with vascular disease. Our blog aims to raise awareness and educate people with vein problems about the effects of spider and varicose veins and treatment measures for patients that already have them.

These methods use state-of-the-art imaging techniques such as CT, ultrasound, and MRI to guide tiny specialized instruments such as needles, wires, or catheters to different body parts when performing advanced treatments.

Spider Veins

Spider veins look like tiny, grouped veins that form branches and lines. They are typically red, blue, or purple and are shaped like a spider web. Spider veins form when tiny blood vessels swell under the skin and often appear on the arms, neck, and legs.

Although they rarely cause health problems, they are painful and cause burning, throbbing, and muscle cramps in the lower legs, which may necessitate medical treatment.

Spider veins can appear alone or, in rare cases, in conjunction with varicose veins. If left untreated for a long time, they can multiply and become more prominent.

Spider Veins Treatment

Treating spider veins is considered exclusively cosmetic, as they look unsightly on the patient’s body. Laser therapy or sclerotherapy are two ways to get rid of spider veins. Both procedures produce positive results with no downtime.

Laser therapy is the most popular method because it eliminates the vein by penetrating the skin and destroying a small portion of the vein at a time. Most patients can return to sports the very next day.

The downside to laser treatments is that they can cause damage to the skin due to the burning and penetrating of the skin.

On the other hand, sclerotherapy treats large veins by injecting a solution via a tiny needle. The procedure is painless because the hand used is small and delicate and therefore does not cause pain. Other treatment options for spider veins include;

  • You can wear compression stockings that apply gentle pressure to the legs to keep blood from pooling in the veins.
  • Lifestyle changes include good skin care, weight loss, and walking. Shoes with lower heels can help strengthen the calf muscles and improve blood flow in the veins. You can also try to avoid standing or sitting for long periods without a break and not wearing high heels for too long.
  • Endovenous laser ablation; is a procedure in which the doctor inserts a tiny laser fiber into the affected vein.

Varicose veins

Varicose veins are swollen and distended veins that typically appear in the feet and legs. They are often lumpy, bulging, or twisted and may be blue or dark purple.

Varicose veins are often accompanied by aching, heavy, throbbing, sometimes burning, muscle cramps in the legs, and thin, dry skin that itches over the affected vein.

Varicose veins can result from;

  •  Aging
  • Heredity
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Being female
  • Standing for extended durations

Varicose Veins Treatment

The treatment of varicose veins is far from the treatment of spider veins.

Initially, the doctor should recommend wearing compression stockings and regular exercise that involves elevating the affected area.

If pain and discomfort persist, doctors may prescribe other alternatives, including;

  • Medical professionals use sclerotherapy to scar and close varicose veins by injecting a solution or foam into them. The treated varicose veins should disappear within a few weeks. Sclerotherapy can be performed in a doctor’s office without anesthesia.
  • Laser treatment involves applying strong pulses of light to the vein, causing it to dissolve gradually.
  • There is vein stripping and ligation of high veins. It involves surgically removing the affected veins.
  • By using heat, endothermic ablation seals the affected veins.

spider veins Vs varicose veins

Here is a comparison of spider veins and varicose veins;


Spider veins are red, purple, and blue veins that also twist and turn. They usually appear on the legs or face and often accompany varicose veins, while varicose veins, which typically appear on the legs, are dilated veins under the skin that are occasionally bluish.

Aside from that, spider veins tend to be superficial and more minor, while varicose veins are large and located under the skin. 


Both these vein conditions have a similar cause: a malfunction of the valves in the blood vessels.

They are both caused by obesity, heredity, pregnancy, and menopause. However, as mentioned above, spider veins do not always turn into varicose veins but only coexist with varicose veins. In rare cases, however, leaving your spider veins untreated can lead to varicose veins.

In many women, spider veins appear due to hormonal fluctuations, but they are normal, not painful, and do not require medical treatment.

Spider Veins In Men And Women

Women are more prone to spider veins due to estrogen and progesterone, which are responsible for fertility and menstruation. These hormones cause fluctuations, causing blood vessels to rupture and ultimately leading to spider veins and even varicose veins.

Men do not have these hormones, the only way men can have spider veins is through obesity. Smoking increases your chances of getting spider veins. As such, you can reverse the damage if you stop smoking and start exercising with the help of professionals.

Varicose and spider vein patients should follow professionals’ proper treatment procedures and prescriptions. Note that you should appropriately treat vein problems, especially varicose veins, and incorporate compression exercises or medical techniques.


Advanced Vein and Laser Center uses advanced treatments for vein conditions, including varicose and spider veins. Through our minimally invasive procedures, clients receive top-notch health treatment that heals faster. For consultation and more information, contact us to learn more about our solutions.

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