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Why Treating Spider Veins Before Varicose Veins Is Like Using A Weedeater On Dandelions

Spider veins are very thin, reddish veins that most commonly appear on the legs or face. These small, swollen veins near the surface of the skin earned their name because of how their appearance can resemble the shape of a web. 

Because spider veins occur in the small veins near the surface of the skin, they are usually obviously visible. Varicose veins may also be visible on the surface of the skin as bulging, twisted veins, but certainly not all varicose veins are visible.

For that reason, some patients want to first eliminate spider veins before they fully understand if they also have varicose veins as well. 

Why does it matter which is treated first? After all, spider veins are essentially the same venous disease as varicose veins. Both develop because of our our body’s inflammatory response to the high pressure within veins when they fail to function properly and the veins become swollen, or distended. 

But spider and varicose veins affect different size blood vessels. If vein inflammation or swelling occurs in the deeper and larger "trunk" veins, which are usually on the legs, they become varicose veins. If inflammation occurs in the smaller veins that are closer to the surface of the skin, they become spider veins. 

Why Treating Varicose Veins First Matters

As we discussed in Can Spider Veins Turn Into Varicose Veins?, spider veins can’t “turn into” varicose veins. However, both vein conditions are influenced largely by genetics, so if you have spider veins you’re likely to have varicose veins, and vice versa. If you do, inflammation from improperly functioning veins will affect both smaller spider veins and larger varicose veins. 

So, in the event that you do have both varicose and spider vein inflammation and you remove the smaller spider veins, it’s similar to patching a ceiling in your house to stop a leak that’s coming from a hole in your roof. The hole in the roof will continue to leak, but the patch on the ceiling will only hold so long. 

Another way to think of it is that treating spider veins in the presence of underlying varicose veins is like trying to use a weedeater to get rid of dandelions in your yard. Your yard may look OK on the surface for a week or two, but the dandelion roots are still there. Not only are they going to come back, they are also going spread.

In a nutshell, any spider vein repair before varicose veins are first treated will be temporary and will make the problem worse over time. 

Fortunately, today’s treatments of both varicose veins and spider veins are quicker and easier than they’ve ever been. Most procedures are performed in an hour with no stitches needed, requiring little to no down time.  

Dr. Douglass and the staff at East Tennessee Vein Clinic are solely dedicated to the treatment of varicose and spider veins, and lead the region in 20 years of experience and expertise of vein treatments. We treat veins differently than other clinics because of our comprehensive attention to treating the root cause and full extent of each patient’s vein disease. 

Comprehensive vein treatment is all we do, all day, every day, since 2001. You’ll notice a deeper level of care when an entire practice revolves around one thing—helping patients be free from the discomfort of varicose and spider veins.

Consult with us for varicose veins in February to receive a complimentary first spider vein treatment in 2020 upon completion of varicose vein treatment through February. 

Visit us online at East Tennessee Vein Clinic, request an appointment online, or mention this limited offer when calling our office at 866-281-VEIN.

Love Dr. Douglass and entire staff. My favorite part is that K-Love 88.3 is always playing. I have referred several friends!

- S. W., Knoxville, TN

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