Do I have Spider Veins or Varicose Veins?

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Confused regarding Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?

Hi, Dr. Gan here. Today, I’m going to break down a very common question that I get and that is, “What do I have? Do I have spider veins, or do I have varicose veins?” Now, the issue is a lot of patients actually look on line whether it be Wikipedia or on Google, trying to figure out what they have on their legs. And oftentimes, with the descriptions that you get, you often think that do you just have spider veins? Or do you have varicose veins? Or maybe a mixture?

Spider Veins

Now, you’re not alone because many patients have the same question. The challenge is, sometimes spider veins can just look like little red spots on your legs as if someone’s actually drawn with a pen on certain areas of your legs. And they can be quite small, but you do notice them. They would look something similar to what this picture is, there we go. So we got sort of these red, little dots that you get. And these are little, small pen marks.

Spider Veins and Reticular Veins

Another option is, you get spider veins, but they sort of look like little paint brushes have been made. Almost like little strokes have been made around those areas. These are pretty obvious and most patients that notice it will know straightaway that they are spider veins. And this would be an image of what it would look like. So essentially you’re looking at little paintbrushes that are made. And you can see these little spots right there whereby you get these little paint marks. And these are the paintbrushes that you get.

Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

And a third form that you can get is you can have spider veins with varicose veins. Now this can be a little bit challenging to see because oftentimes these varicose veins, sometimes they’re just a little bit green, maybe slightly elevate out of the skin. So it can be a little bit deceiving because you think that it’s quite normal. But you will notice that when it’s actually hot these veins will actually pop out a little bit. So it’s quite obvious when these green veins pop out. But you’d also see spider veins and sometimes you get these blotchy patches.

Now an example out here, now obviously this has been overdone because, just for illustration. We’re looking at, so these spider veins and you see these little blotches with little green lines. Obviously they won’t look as green as that but this is sort of an example of what you’re going to be looking at. So that’s an example of you actually having a bit of spider veins and varicose veins.

Varicose Veins Only

Now for some patients, they may not have any spider veins at all and only have varicose veins, and these varicose veins might just be a bulging vein. Now it is very important to note that in some very athletic and slim people, they may only have on vein popping out and this may be normal. So it’s important to get it assessed to find out whether, is it a varicose vein? Oftentimes it will cause you pain, so if it’s causing some form, element of discomfort, then the chances are it is going to be a varicose vein and it’s something that needs to be treated.

Now I hope this sort of helps you distinguish between spider veins and varicose veins. It can be a little bit challenging. Oftentimes another issue is that some patients seem to focus quite a lot on the front, because that’s what you can see. And oftentimes at the back you may have more than just spider veins. You might actually have lots of varicose veins but because we don’t actually have eyes in the back of our heads we can’t really see it. So it’s important to know that you can get quite a lot of varicose at your back which is sort of creating this spider veins coming out in front. So it can be a little bit tricky to sort of figure it out.

But I hope that this video gives you some insight into what the possibilities are, of whether spider vein or varicose vein. If you need to find out a little bit more or you want to find out how you can get rid of them book yourself in for consultation.

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