What are Reticular Veins
Reticular veins, sometimes called feeder veins or blue veins, occur when veins become dilated which allows the blood to flow backward. This causes the veins to enlarge due to the increase in pressure. The veins can become twisted and rather unattractive blue or green lines appear under the skin, often exhibiting a marbled appearance.
Reticular veins are very common, affecting about 80% of adults and can be caused by hormone imbalances, weak veins, and as a result of genetic factors. Age, weight, UV damage to the skin, and occupations which require a lot of time spent sitting or standing can be contributing factors.
Reticular veins are most often found on the thigh, calf, ankles and a behind the knee. They are located in the area of the skin right above the hypodermis and just below the thickest connective tissue of the skin. The appearance of these veins can be more prominent in those with fair skin.
Symptoms of Reticular Veins
Reticular veins appear as blue or green lines and often show as unappealing clusters or marbled-looking blemishes. They usually do not cause any painful symptoms, however, if a large number of these veins do exist, they actually may produce similar symptoms as varicose veins. This includes heaviness, aching, fatigue, and discomfort. Though somewhat rare, some patients experience burning, itching, and/or tenderness in the surrounding areas.
The most common treatment for reticular veins is ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy.
If left untreated, reticular veins often lead to the development of spider veins. Treating these veins does help to eliminate the onset of spider veins.