Reticular Veins Fort Worth, TX
Reticular veins are veins near the surface of the skin that are are formed by larger veins that are located deeper in the skin's surface. Reticular veins appear blue or greenish in color and are larger than spider veins but smaller than varicose veins. While they may appear somewhat enlarged beneath the surface of the skin, they are not ropy and bulging in appearance like varicose veins. Reticular veins are most commonly found on the outer thighs, or on the backs of the thighs and knees. However, they can occasionally appear on the face. They often appear as clusters of veins near the skin's surface, and although they are often not a serious condition, they may cause pain, itching or discomfort.
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What Causes Reticular Veins?
Reticular veins develop when walls of the veins become weak or damaged. As a result, the valves within the veins also become damaged. Defective valves in reticular veins may allow blood to flow backwards, a condition known as venous reflux. As gravity pulls blood down to the lower parts of the leg through non-functioning valves, venous hypertension, or increased pressure develops in the affected veins. Reticular veins may develop as a result of genetic factors and may be exacerbated by obesity and long periods of inactivity, particularly standing. Pregnancy and advanced age may also contribute to the development of reticular veins. This condition may occur in both males and females.
While reticular veins may exist independently, they frequently are the cause of telangiectasias, commonly known as spider veins. In other words, spider veins are often produced by the excess blood blood and pressure that fills the dilated reticular veins. Therefore, reticular veins are sometimes referred to as feeder veins. Removing reticular veins can help to eliminate spider veins.
How are Reticular Veins Treated?
Reticular veins are usually treated visual sclerotherapy. During a sclerotherapy procedure, the affected veins are injected with sclerosant, a chemical solution that closes the abnormal vein and seals it off from the other healthy veins in the leg. The vein shrinks over time and is eventually absorbed. As a result, the veins become smaller or vanish entirely. Circulation is not adversely affected by the sclerotherapy. Treatment of reticular veins often has a high rate of patient satisfaction.
How are reticular veins diagnosed?
Reticular veins are 1-2 mm diameter blue veins which can be seen in most individuals with fair skin. They are often diseased if they appear enlarged, are bulging, or producing aching pain. This can be determined by examination, but often requires a diagnostic ultrasound to determine if there are deeper veins (beneath the skin) responsible for the abnormal reticular veins.
What are the risk factors for reticular veins?
The risk factors for reticular vein are the same as those for all types of superficial vein disease and include family history of vein disease, female gender, pregnancy, and occupations in which you stand for prolonged periods (teachers, hairdressers, and construction workers, to name a few).
Are reticular veins preventable?
Other than avoiding prolonged standing, probably not, but compression stockings during pregnancy and some flavonoids (natural substances derived from fruits and vegetables) may reduce the risk. Access Reeder Vein Institute's blog to learn more about vein disease prevention.
*The information about Reticular Veins was reviewed by Board Certified Surgeon Dr. Michael Darnell. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form.