What Are Varicose Veins and Spider Veins AND How Do I Know if I Have Them?
Varicose veins are enlarged and swollen veins that can be visible, just under your skin, where they become dilated and stretched out as a result of high pressure inside the veins. They are dark purple or blue in color and can appear twisted and bulging, often like cords. They are considered a true medical problem because they cause pain, throbbing, aching, tiredness, heaviness, swelling, itching, leg fatigue, cramps, restless legs syndrome, and skin discoloration.
All of this can lead to skin rashes, scarring of the skin, legs ulcers, and blood clots. Nearly 80 million Americans suffer from this disease.
Many people who have leg vein problems have NO visible veins on the surface. This fact is why so many people with vein problems don’t know it: it’s not apparent to them or their doctor! In fact, some of the unfortunate people who have the most severe underlying vein problems have the worst complications: swelling, ulcers, and blood clots.
Spider veins are also abnormal veins, but they are smaller, can be red and or blue, and are visible just under the surface of your skin. Spider veins are considered only a cosmetic problem even though they can sometimes cause burning or itching. In the past, health insurance would pay to treat spider veins but that is no longer the case.