Varicose veins are large, raised, swollen blood vessels that twist and turn. They usually develop in the legs and can be seen through the skin.
Spider veins are smaller, red, purple, and blue vessels that also twist and turn. They are also visible through the skin and also can appear on the legs.
What causes varicose and spider veins on the legs?
While varicose veins and spider veins are different forms of a medical condition called venous insufficiency, when they appear in the legs this is because of having weakened or damaged valves in the veins.
In the case of spider veins, these small thin dark lines (that may be flat or only slightly raised) can occur when the valves inside the veins stop working properly. Veins carry blood back to the heart. To prevent blood from flowing backward, they contain a one-way valve that closes once the blood passes through it.
If this valve weakens or becomes damaged, the blood may struggle to flow in the correct direction, and it can begin to pool inside the vein. Over time, this can cause a bulge in the vein that branches out, resulting in spider veins.
In the case of varicose veins, these are larger and deeper than spider veins. They may also appear lumpy or twisted and are usually flesh-colored or red. they also can come with different symptoms including:
Jane writes for Healing Natural Oils, a producer and retailer of high-quality, all-natural treatments for a variety of conditions as well as a range of beauty products. Apart from writing about those various conditions, she also covers general health, environmental and other subjects of interest. She has lived in Kenya as well as Cape Town, South Africa and spent time in San Diego, USA. She now lives in Somerset, England with regular visits from her far-flung children and grandchildren. She is a keen gardener and enjoys growing fresh fruit and vegetables with her husband on their joint allotment. As a result, there is something available to use in the kitchen virtually all year round. Her regular posts can be found on our blog.