Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged and twisted, appearing as blue or purple cords bulging under the skin. They can cause discomfort, pain, and swelling, especially in the legs, and are often found on the thighs, calves, or inside of the leg. Pregnant women may also develop varicose veins around the buttocks and vagina. Varicose veins are caused by weakened or damaged valves that allow blood to flow backward and pool in the veins, resulting in their enlargement.
On the other hand, spider veins are smaller than varicose veins, closer to the skin’s surface, and often appear as short, jagged lines in red or blue. They can resemble spider webs or tree branches and are usually found on the legs or face, covering small or large areas of skin. Spider veins may not cause pain or discomfort but can be a cosmetic concern for some people. They can be caused by various factors such as hormonal changes, sun exposure, injuries, or the backup of blood.