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How do I know the difference between a spider vein and a varicose vein? - Santa Monica Vein Center - Vein Specialist - Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian

Spider and varicose veins are both unhealthy and problematic veins on the legs and thighs.  Both varicose veins and spider veins can occur as a result of occupation, decrease level of physical activity, family history, and development of defective valves in the legs and thighs.  The difference between a spider vein and varicose vein depends on the caliber of the vein and its location underneath the skin.


Small thread like spider veins usually are intradermal and can dilate immediately under the surface of the skin.  Varicose veins are usually positioned deeper under the surface of the skin and can often bulge above the plane of the skin.  Varicose veins also are more tortuous and are often of a larger caliber than smaller spider veins.  Abnormal blood flow can cause stagnation of oxygen rich blood in the legs and thighs that can cause medical symptoms such as pain, discomfort, itching, burning, swelling, and throbbing in the legs.  If you have spider and varicose veins and wish to undergo a comprehensive consultation for treatment in the Los Angeles area, please call our vein patient care coordinator at 310 998-5535. 


Dr. Karamanoukian is a board certified specialist in varicose veins and is diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery as well as the American Board of Phlebology (vein surgery).

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