Why do varicose and spider veins appear?

People often use the terms “varicose veins” and “spider veins” interchangeably, but they’re not quite the same thing. Varicose veins typically appear very twisted and swollen, often protruding from the leg, while spider veins appear as thin, weblike networks of red and purple.

Despite the differences in appearance, however, varicose and spider veins share a list of common causes. The primary cause behind both conditions is weakened or damaged blood vessels. Here’s a little more about how these vein conditions occur:

Your veins carry deoxygenated blood back to your heart, after it has completed its job of delivering oxygen and nutrients to your body. Your veins contain a one-way valve that prevents blood from flowing backward (away from your heart). If this valve, or parts of the vein around the valve, become too weak or damaged, a bulge can form. The bulge may start to branch out, resulting in spider or varicose veins.

The main difference is the depth at which the two types of veins lie. Spider veins tend to be more superficial, or closer to the surface of your skin, while varicose veins tend to lie deeper underneath your skin.

Web effects

As you age, it’s common to see twisted, enlarged veins emerging in your legs, called varicose veins. Varicose veins are typically caused by the increased pressure on your leg veins as you move around over the course of a lifetime. Valves that normally allow blood to flow in only one direction become weakened and cause blood to pool instead, resulting in unsightly purplish webs.

Pregnant women have a high risk of developing varicose veins, due to the increased quantity of blood produced during a pregnancy, as well as the additional weight, but varicose veins can happen to anyone. Almost 1 in 4 adults in the United States will deal with varicose veins at some point in their lifetimes. People of any age can get varicose veins, but they’re much more common as you get older.

While the development of varicose veins over the years is often natural and potentially benign, they can have a negative impact on your overall health. They put you at an increased risk of conditions including:

  • Bleeding issues
  • Pain or swelling
  • Ulcers, particularly around your ankles

Some patients won’t need treatment for their varicose veins, but others can benefit from some form of intervention.

Real treatment options

At Beach Wellness MD, our experienced care team offers multiple treatment options for dealing with varicose veins. We can suggest lifestyle changes and home therapies that may resolve your varicose veins, including regular exercise, weight loss, and massage.

Still, varicose veins can’t always be reversed through lifestyle changes alone. Dr. Golshan also offers a range of nonsurgical treatment options from his Brentwood, Los Angeles office. Among the options you can choose from are:

  • Varithena®, an FDA-approved injectable foam that collapses damaged veins while rerouting blood flow to healthier veins.
  • Sclerotherapy, where one of various solutions are injected into your damaged veins to harden and collapse them. Again, blood is rerouted to healthier veins.

These “leg makeover” procedures are minimally invasive and can be just as effective as vein surgeries. Treatments only take about 15 minutes and cause little to no discomfort. Downtime for most is minimal, although you should plan on keeping physical activity to low levels for the first week after your treatment to give your vascular system time to fully heal. Your full results are usually visible in about a month.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Golshan to talk about your options for resolving your varicose veins, call Beach Wellness MD at 310-974-8767 or request an appointment.


Varicose Veins Q & A

What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins aren’t just a cosmetic concern; they’re a medical condition that can cause pain, swelling, and other health complications. Varicose veins are the result of weak or damaged valves that should prevent backflow of blood, but instead these valves allow blood to pool within your veins, so they appear enlarged and bulging.

What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins occur in patients of all ages, but the chance of developing them increases with age.

Additional risk factors include:

  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Standing or sitting for long periods
  • Obesity

Varicose veins are more common in women than men, especially women who’ve had multiple pregnancies.

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
Symptoms of varicose veins include:

  • Twisted, protruding veins
  • Dark purple or blue veins
  • Pain, throbbing, or heaviness in the legs
  • Spasms or swelling
  • Discolored or itching skin

Varicose veins can lead to ulcers, blood clots, and minor bleeding.

How are varicose veins treated?
Dr. Golshan at Beach Wellness MD is an expert at treating varicose veins without surgery. He performs leg makeovers using a combined approach to treating varicose veins.
The leg makeover involves the following treatments:

Varithena®
Varithena is an FDA-approved foam medication that Dr. Golshan injects into the primary abnormal vein with a tiny needle. Varithena causes the damaged vein to collapse; blood flow is redirected to healthy veins.

Foam sclerotherapy
This involves a custom-formulated foam that Dr. Golshan injects into smaller, branching veins. The foam seals the veins, rerouting blood flow. Your immune system eventually eliminates the sealed blood vessels.

What are the benefits of a leg makeover?
A leg makeover is a minimally invasive procedure that’s just as effective as vein surgery, with fewer risks and shorter recovery times. The procedure is also safer and less painful than laser or radiofrequency vein treatments.
The benefits of a leg makeover for varicose veins include:

  • Short treatments (10-15 minutes)
  • No anesthesia required
  • No scarring
  • Little to no discomfort
  • Minimal downtime

Most patients can return to daily activities right away. You may need to wear a compression garment and restrict your physical activity for up to a week after your procedure.
Initial results may be visible as early as one week following your leg makeover. Typically you see full results around one month after your procedure.


Spider Veins Q & A

What are spider veins?
Spider veins are tiny, branching, superficial veins that are visible just below the surface of your skin. They arise due to valve insufficiency that allows blood to pool within your blood vessels. Spider veins appear as a weblike network rather than the bulging and twisting that’s characteristic of varicose veins.

What causes spider veins?
Several factors can contribute to spider veins, including:

  • Genetics
  • Sun damage
  • Hormonal changes
  • Heredity
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy

Spider veins most commonly appear on the legs. Patients of all ages can develop spider veins, but women are more likely to have them than men.

What are the symptoms of spider veins?
Spider veins appear as a red, blue, or purple network of tiny blood vessels. They’re generally harmless, but occasionally spider veins cause an uncomfortable burning sensation.

How are spider veins treated?
Dr. Golshan at Beach Wellness MD is an experienced vein specialist who can address spider veins without surgery. VANISH Spider Vein Treatment uses a combination of the following therapies to safely and effectively reduce the appearance of spider veins:

Foam and Liquid Sclerotherapy®
Foam and liquid sclerotherapy are custom-formulated medications injected into branching veins using a needle that’s smaller than a strand of hair. Sclerotherapy seals the veins and redirects blood flow. Damaged veins are then naturally eliminated from the body.

What are the benefits of the VANISH spider vein treatment?
VANISH is a minimally invasive procedure that’s just as effective as vein surgery, with shorter recovery and fewer risks. VANISH is also less painful and less risky than surgery.
The benefits of the VANISH spider vein treatment include:

  • Short treatments (10-15 minutes)
  • No anesthesia
  • Little to no discomfort
  • Minimal downtime
  • No scarring

Typically, patients can return to daily activities right away. You may need to wear a compression garment for two days, and Dr. Golshan may recommend that you restrict your physical activity for two days after your VANISH spider vein treatment.

Initial results may be visible as early as one week following your procedure. You’ll see full results around one month after your treatment.

To schedule a consultation for nonsurgical vein treatments with Dr. Golshan, call Beach Wellness MD at 310-974-8767 or request an appointment.