There is a common misconception of what varicose and spider veins really are. It may be embarrassing for some to admit that they have varicose veins or they simply just think that they have spider veins. Although spider veins can be fed from varicose veins, they are simply not the same. Let’s start with spider veins… What are they? Spider veins are typically purple web-like veins that appear either scattered all over the leg or in clusters. Although they can be symptomatic, they are usually painless and are considered cosmetic. They lie almost, if not, flat on the skin and are often described as “unsightly.” Varicose veins on the other hand are bulgy. People describe them as snake or rope like or even like a little brain. Varicose veins protrude from the skin and are not considered a cosmetic condition, but rather a medical condition. They can also be either symptomatic or asymptomatic. To properly diagnose patients with either spider veins or varicose veins, a thorough consultation should be done to examine the patient’s legs and areas of concern. Sometimes, certain patterns of spider veins indicate that there may be an underlying vein condition. An ultrasound examination can be done to properly diagnose varicose veins and underlying vein conditions.
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