Spider veins, which are also called telangiectasias, are tiny visible blood vessels or broken capillaries just under the skin. They usually have form on the face, near mucous membranes, and on the legs, however they can form anywhere on the body.
Spider veins are one of the most common vascular abnormalities and can take a few different forms. Sometimes they have a spidery appearance, hence the name spider veins. Some spider veins look more like little tree branches, while others, known as linear spider veins, simply look like thin straight lines.
For most people, spider veins are relatively painless. Sometimes individuals do experience itchy, burning or other painful sensations. There are a variety of non-invasive treatments for spider veins.
It is important to note that spider veins and varicose veins are not the same thing. Spider veins are not necessary for the healthful functioning of the body, while veins that have become varicose are. The presence of spider veins may be an indicator of underlying varicose vein problems so it is wise to discuss the presence of spider veins with your doctor or vein care professional.