Are your arms and legs sprouting varicose veins and spider veins? Here’s what they are, the difference between them, and the prevention methods and treatment options available

Are your veins becoming more noticeable as you age? You’re not alone. According to the Vein Care Center of Illinois, over 40 million Americans, or 12.5% of the population, are afflicted with varicose veins. And spider veins are even more common. Celebrities, including the likes of Britney Spears, Jessica Alba, and Kristin Davis have all struggled with them (and the discomfort that often accompanies them!). But what exactly causes this condition and what can be done to prevent or remove them?

Know the difference

Most people use the terms ‘varicose veins’ and ‘spider veins’ interchangeably. While they are similar, they are, nonetheless, different. Spider veins dilated blood cells that are noticeable under the skin. They are smaller than varicose veins and are generally more embarrassing than they are painful.

Varicose veins take it to a different level. They are a result of swollen, twisted blood vessels and bulge out of the skin. They can, if left untreated, become uncomfortable for those who suffer from them.

Who is at risk?

They generally occur on the arms and legs and affect women disproportionately, develop for different reasons. Aging, and pregnancy are two of the most common factors. Others include genetics, obesity and even jobs that require a lot of standing.

When the valves of your arteries stop allowing blood to flow through them with ease, they become enlarged. And varicose veins are a result of that. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent them, improving your muscle tone and circulation will stand you in good stead for smooth(er!) legs.

Can varicose veins be removed?

The good news is that both spider veins and varicose veins can be treated! While surgery might be necessary in some severe cases, this is not the norm. For spider veins, wearing compression stockings daily can help to reduce them, as can some nonsurgical procedures. This can also prevent them from becoming more raised and uncomfortable.

Book an appointment today for advanced dermatological care for the whole family.