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Stretch Marks or Varicose Veins: How to Differentiate?

At times, you get confused between stretch marks and varicose veins. When you notice the purplish red lines on your skin, which are also twisted at times, you get a feeling of having either stretch marks or varicose veins. Unfortunately, the two conditions can occur simultaneously, making it difficult to differentiate. 

But, to seek the right treatment, you should know whether these blemishes are varicose veins or stretch marks. This article will help you understand these two conditions and their causes. So, keep reading!

What are Varicose Veins? 

Varicose veins are enlarged veins caused by weak vein valves due to which the blood pools. They are dark in color and often twisted. You can notice these veins usually on your legs. 

Sometimes, varicose veins might not cause any pain. However, long hours of sitting or standing in specific positions may result in swelling and pain. 

There are several causes of varicose veins. Some people develop this condition due to genetics, while others experience it due to obesity, high blood pressure, age, or poor lifestyle. 

What are Stretch Marks? 

Compared to varicose veins, stretch marks can occur on any part of the body. However, hips, abdomen, breasts, and thighs are some common areas where stretch marks usually appear. 

Furthermore, the cause of stretch marks is entirely different from that of varicose veins. Stretch marks are caused by the stretching of the skin beyond the normal limit. People commonly develop these scars after pregnancy or weight training. But having stretch marks after every pregnancy is not necessary. 

The difference between stretch marks and varicose veins is also present in appearance. Not twisted, but these are long lines on the areas where your skin has been stretched. 

Furthermore, stretch marks do not cause pain. People only want to get rid of them due to cosmetic reasons. These marks may look red or pink when they appear in the beginning. But with the passage of time, they change their color to white or brown. 


Thankfully, treatment for both conditions is present. However, consulting your healthcare expert is essential to choose the right treatment plan. Skin experts recommend creams, gels, and lotions for stretch marks to make the scars less noticeable. 

On the other hand, several treatment options are there to treat varicose veins. The treatment plan mainly depends upon the severity of the condition, age, and medical history. Thankfully, modern-day treatments are non-invasive. Some well-known procedures include: 

- VenaSeal

- ClosureFast

- Sclerotherapy

- Varithena

Conclusively, stretch marks are skin scars, whereas varicose veins are a vein disorder. The appearance and symptoms of each condition help to distinguish between the two problems. 

If you are still confused, book an appointment at Comprehensive Vein Care. After a check-up, we will diagnose your condition and suggest a treatment plan if you are dealing with a vein-related disease. Do not ignore your symptoms!

To schedule your free consultation, please call (937) 325-3830 or