Varicose and Spider Veins

Varicose Vein & Spider Vein Care

When veins are abnormally visible, they are commonly called varicose and spider veins. However, they are two different conditions. Veins that are twisted and enlarged are called varicose veins, whereas spider veins are very similar to varicose veins except they are smaller. At CHRISTUS Health, our providers have the knowledge and experience to help treat these conditions.

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Spider Veins

Spider veins are very similar to varicose veins except they are smaller. They usually appear to be blue or red, and are closer to the skin surface when compared to varicose veins. This condition can appear on small and large areas of a patient's skin as spider webs with short jagged lines or tree branches.

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Causes of Spider Veins 

Spider veins can be caused by venous insufficiency, a condition where vein valves acting as one way flaps prevent blood flow backwards while moving up the legs. Additional causes of spider veins include sun exposure, hormone changes, and inherited related factors.

Treat & Remove Spider Veins

There are several different treatment options available for patients with spider veins: phlebectomy, sclerotherapy or VenaCure® laser treatment. At CHRISTS Health, we are familiar with various treatments and removal procedures.


Sclerotherapy is most commonly used to treat spider veins or smaller varicose veins. This procedure is done in the office. Time required depends on the extent of the veins to be treated.

What Happens During Sclerotherapy?

A fine needle is used to inject a sclerosing agent into the vein. This irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to distend and prevents the blood from flowing through this vein. The lining of the vein then collapses and turns to scar tissue, which is gradually absorbed by the body.

What Happens After Sclerotherapy?

Following the procedure, the leg must be supported with compression bandages or prescription stockings for several days to allow the vein walls to stick together.

Sclerotherapy is relatively painless, although patients commonly feel an itching sensation for several minutes after the treatment. Several sclerotherapy treatments may be required to treat a given region.