The Differences Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

The Differences Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Varicose veins and spider veins can be unsightly and uncomfortable. However, knowing what causes these visible, bothersome veins and how to treat them can make a huge difference in your quality of life.

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are tiny red, blue, or purple veins that are visible on the surface of your skin. They may resemble spiderwebs or tiny threads. Spider veins can be caused by many factors, including heredity, obesity, trauma to the area, and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. They are most common on the legs but can also appear on the chest or face.

The Differences Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins | Afzal Clinics

How to Treat Spider Veins

The most effective treatment for spider veins is a procedure called visual sclerotherapy, which involves the injection of a specialized solution into the affected vein. The solution causes the vein to collapse, and it is then absorbed by the body over time.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins usually occur on the legs and appear bulging and twisted. They can be purple or dark blue and may cause swelling, discomfort, and a feeling of heaviness in the legs. They are caused by weakened valves in the veins that allow blood to flow backward and collect in the blood vessel.

How to Treat Varicose Veins

There are several treatments available for varicose veins. Dr. Afzal will determine the best procedure for you after performing his examination and discussing your needs and preferences.

The Differences Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins | Afzal Clinics

Radiofrequency Vein Ablation

Radiofrequency vein ablation uses a thin catheter that emits radiofrequency (RF) energy. Local anesthesia is administered, and a small incision is made. The catheter is inserted into the blood vessel, where the RF energy heats the vein walls and causes them to collapse as the catheter is slowly pulled out. The body will then absorb the collapsed veins and reroute the blood through healthy blood vessels. The treatment takes between 45 minutes and one hour to complete and requires minimal downtime.


Phlebectomy is another option for treating your varicose veins. A small hook is inserted through an incision and pulls out the affected vein. The procedure is performed using local anesthesia, and most patients are able to return to their regular activities in about 24 hours.

Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

If varicose veins are not visible on the surface of the skin, ultrasound guided sclerotherapy can be performed. Dr. Afzal will first examine your legs using ultrasound imaging to visualize the veins that need to be treated. He will also use ultrasound imaging during the procedure to ensure accuracy. Sclerotherapy solution is then injected into the varicose vein, which causes it to collapse. The recovery period after this treatment is minimal.

If you have varicose or spider veins and want to improve the feeling and appearance of your legs, Afzal Vein Clinic can help you figure out which treatment is right for you.

Contact Afzal Clinics today by calling 612-789-8346. We have offices in Plymouth, Fridley, and Edina, MN, for your convenience!

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