What Are Reticular Veins?
Reticular veins are small, blue or purple-colored blood vessel abnormalities found in the veins, usually in the veins of the legs and ankles. They are similar to varicose and spider veins, but they could be defined as the middle state between both conditions. Reticular veins tend to be smaller than varicose veins and do not protrude above the skin.
Common Signs and Symptoms
Reticular veins usually don’t cause serious symptoms. Occasionally, they might cause some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Mild swelling in the affected area
- Muscle cramps
- Tiredness, burning sensation or heaviness in the legs
- Itching around the veins
Causes of Reticular Veins
The underlying process that causes reticular veins is the weakness or damage in the vein valves, a condition known as chronic venous insufficiency. This causes the blood flow speed to gradually reduce, resulting in the collection of the blood inside the veins. Although the exact cause of reticular veins is unknown, there are some risk factors related, including:
- Female gender
- Prolonged standing
- Reticular veins family history
Reticular Veins Treatment
Most cases of reticular veins do not require additional interventions or treatment to deal with the minimal symptoms this condition involves. In fact, the main reason people decide to treat their reticular veins is because of the cosmetical implications and not because of the symptoms.
However, according to the severity of reticular veins, there are some treatment options, including non-invasive and minimally invasive ones.
- Lifestyle changes. Including losing weight and doing exercise regularly
- Avoiding tight fitting clothes
- Avoiding long periods of standing or sitting
- Wearing special compression stockings all day
Minimally Invasive Treatments
If you don’t show any improvement after conventional treatment or if your reticular veins case is more severe from the beginning, your doctor might suggest some of the following treatments:
- Sclerotherapy – Which involves the injection of the veins with a solution that scars and closes the veins from the inside.
- Laser – This new and revolutionary technique has been used to slowly fade and disappear those small reticular veins, thanks to the effect of the laser light on the vein.