When it comes to vein-related medical conditions, most of us have heard about varicose veins or spider veins. However, there is a third condition that is less spoken of, but almost as common – it’s called reticular veins.
Reticular veins are formed as the result of CVI or Chronic Venous Insufficiency, which is the main cause behind spider veins and varicose veins as well. Reticular veins tend to be smaller than varicose veins, measuring just about 2mm in diameter. They also do not protrude through the skin like varicose veins do.
However, they do share certain similarities. For instance, both vein conditions are characterized by the presence of blue or purple veins. Other than that, they also show up on the same areas of the body. This includes the back and inner areas of the thigh, followed by the ankle and lower leg. In rare instances, they even appear on the face. However, that is mostly associated with spider veins.
Reticular veins also go by the name of feeder veins because they feed into spider veins. When this occurs, the feeder veins end up becoming a source of excess blood for the spider veins. So, in order to remove spider veins, the removal of reticular veins may be required.
Causes of Reticular Veins
Reticular veins appear in about 80% of adults and are caused due to a range of factors. This can include weak veins, genetic predisposition, hormonal imbalances etc. Other than that, you have external factors such as weight, UV damage, age, and occupation (jobs that require excessive standing or sitting).
Reticular veins are located on the layer of the skin that is right above the hypodermis and just below the thickest connective tissue layer. The condition is very noticeable among people with fairer skin.
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As stated earlier, one of the first symptoms is the appearance of blue, purple, or green veins. They almost look like lines and are arranged in clusters. In some cases, they have a marble-like appearance. There is no pain associated with reticular veins.
However, if there are an excessive number of reticular veins, it can lead to aches, fatigue, heaviness, and discomfort. In rare instances, patients have reported tenderness, itching, and burning.
Treating Reticular Veins With Sclerotherapy
The most common treatment for reticular veins is sclerotherapy. Not treating reticular veins will lead to the formation of spider veins. Now, sclerotherapy, which also goes by the name of injection therapy, involves the injecting of a chemical irritant into the affected veins.
The irritant causes the walls of the vein to swell and stick together. As a result, it gets sealed. The sealing stops the blood flow, which causes the vein to collapse eventually. Though it sounds like the procedure might interfere with circulation, it really doesn’t. Once the reticular veins are sealed shut, the healthy blood vessels nearby take over the job of circulating blood.
Complete removal of reticular veins requires more than just one sclerotherapy session. Each session lasts about 15 minutes and you’ll be required to wear compression stockings for a few weeks after. Do talk to your surgeon to know more about post-procedure care.
Contact Our Office
If you’re interested in learning more about sclerotherapy and how it can help treat reticular veins, contact Nu Vela Laser and Vein Center to schedule a consultation today.