We are all familiar with varicose veins: visible, enlarged, twisted veins that come with health risks beyond being simply unattractive. We also are aware of what spider veins look like. Reticular veins, on the other hand, are not commonly known and carry their own health risks. Our team is dedicated to not only treating reticular veins and other veins, but educating the public about the health concerns they carry with them.
What are Reticular Veins?
The small blood vessels near the skin’s surface are normally invisible. When they take on a blue or purple color and become visible as a tree branch or spiderweb-like pattern, they are referred to as reticular veins. These veins are small and appear as only a thin, threadlike pattern, often behind the knee or on the calves or ankles. They are smaller than varicose veins but larger than spider veins, measuring about a millimeter in diameter. While they may seem like a minor cosmetic issue, reticular veins can be a symptom of more serious health concerns.
The appearance of reticular veins can be a sign of venous insufficiency. This means that the veins are struggling to return blood to the heart. Rather than flowing smoothly, the blood collects in the veins or flows backwards, causing them to become visible through the skin. This is most often caused by stretching of the veins. Good vascular health is paramount to overall health, since blood flow affects every aspect of your body’s functions. Therefore, treating vascular problems immediately is neccessary for maintaining good health.
What Symptoms Should I Know About?
There are several other symptoms of venous insufficiency. These symptoms most often occur in the legs due to their distance from the heart and the effects of gravity on circulation. If you experience any of the following symptoms or start to notice reticular veins, it is important that you see our doctor. The symptoms include:
- Frequent leg pain
- Heaviness in the legs
- Leg fatigue
- Swollen legs or ankles
- Itchiness in the legs
- Leg cramps
How are Reticular Veins Treated?