15, 6, 2020

What Causes Spider Veins?


Spider veins refer to the abnormally enlarged, bluish or red-colored small blood vessels at the surface of the skin. They often appear in clusters, where they get the name ‘spider veins’ because of their spider like appearance. They also may appear in a starbust pattern. Spider veins, also known as telangiectasias, occur when blood pools in veins near the surface of the skin. They can be caused by heredity, being female, obesity, trauma, and fluctuations in hormone levels. In many cases, the exact cause is not known. They tend to become more numerous with age, and are common among people over 30 and in pregnant women.

Spider Vein
Spider veins can be cosmetic, but may indicate an underlying condition. When spider veins appear around the inner ankle and inner thighs, this may indicate an underlying problem, called venous reflux in saphenous vein which are not visible to the naked eye. Ultrasound can determine if there is underlying venous reflux. Spider veins may also cause symptoms. Itching is a common symptom. Some patients complain of burning, stinging and pain sensations. The reason for the itching and other symptoms is because spider veins can be associated with inflammation. The inflammation in turn, can cause symptoms. Spider veins are most commonly treated with sclerotherapy.

What Causes Spider Veins?2022-01-03T12:57:11-08:00

20, 11, 2014

What Are Vein Valves?

GSV valve 2

The valves inside the leg veins can be seen on ultrasound. The arrow points to a valve in the great saphenous vein within the leg.


Leg veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. Diseased valves are ‘leaky’ and allow blood flow both forward and backward, eventually causing bulging of the veins, i.e., varicose veins.

In the circulatory system, the veins carry de-oxygenated blood back to the heart. The leg veins carry blood toward the heart, against gravity. Therefore, the leg veins have one-way valves the prevent backflow of blood. When the valves do not function properly, they allow blood to flow backward, causing the pooling of blood. This is referred to as venous reflux or venous insufficiency. Eventually, the backflow of the blood will cause varicose veins to develop and symptoms related to the increased pressure in the leg veins such as leg heaviness, aching, swelling, restless legs, night cramps, throbbing, and pain. 

What Are Vein Valves?2021-11-04T14:10:40-07:00

21, 7, 2014

Varicose Veins vs. Spider Veins


What is the difference between varicose veins and spider veins?  Are they the same thing? Spider veins and varicose veins both refer to dysfunctional, dilated leg veins but the main difference is the size of the veins. Spider veins are small, thread-like veins at the surface of the skin. They often appear in clusters or can have a ‘starburst’ or spider-like pattern. Varicose veins are larger veins that appear swollen, twisted cordlike veins that ‘bulge’ at the surface.

Both spider veins and varicose veins can cause pain and other symptoms like burning, aching, and throbbing. Both can be treated without surgery.

Slide 4_2

This image describes the difference between spider veins and varicose veins. Both are manifestations of unhealthy veins. Spider veins are essential, tiny varicose veins.

Varicose Veins vs. Spider Veins2021-11-05T13:08:51-07:00

5, 8, 2012

Olympic Athlete Struggles With Varicose Veins

Olympic athlete Summer Sanders

Olympic athlete Summer Sanders

Patients sometimes tell us that they feel isolated or alone as a result of their varicose veins. The fact is, however, that they are not alone- one in four Americans have some form of vein disorder. Olympic athletes get varicose veins too! Olympic swimmer and gold-medalist, Summer Sanders shares her story of suffering with varicose veins. “As a life-long athlete and Olympic swimmer, I never thought a condition like varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) would affect me. It soon hit me that, even though I was active, I was starting to get my mother’s legs.
It’s important for people to realize that varicose veins and CVI can happen to anyone and they are more than just a cosmetic issue. But you don’t have to live with the uncomfortable and painful symptoms. There are minimally-invasive treatments available that are covered by many insurance plans.
It’s time to Rethink Varicose Veins. I’m glad that I did.” Watch Summer’s story at youtube https://youtu.be/my5b_R1JEFc

Olympic Athlete Struggles With Varicose Veins2021-11-03T22:28:14-07:00
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