Spider veins (or telangiectasias) are small red or blue veins that appear on the skin. These veins are usually caused by small abnormal veins under the skin. These veins are usually not visible, and may develop even when the major leg veins are normal. Spider veins are usually a cosmetic concern. However, large clusters are sometimes associated with pain, itching, and stinging.

Spider Vein Symptoms

Patients with vein disease seek treatment due to either cosmetic concerns or physical complaints. The development of symptoms related to vein disease is often very slow. Because of this insidious course, many patients do not realize the full impact of their problem until after treatment.

Symptoms may include:

  • Leg heaviness
  • Pain
  • Tenderness over the course of a vein
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Restless legs
  • Night cramps
  • Swelling
  • Skin discoloration
  • Numbness and tingling

In more advanced cases, skin breakdown may occur with resulting ulceration.

Leg pain related to venous disease should be differentiated from pain associated with arterial disease. Typically, walking or leg elevation will improve the pain associated with venous disease. In arterial disease, leg pain is typically made worse by walking or elevation.