Also known as feeder veins, reticular veins are dilated veins that appear as blue or green lines under the skin, affecting as much as 80% of all adults. They are often large and unsightly and may lead to the development of spider veins in some patients. Some patients may experience tenderness, burning and itching in the legs, although these symptoms are considered rare.
These veins often develop as a result of genetic factors, but may also be caused by hormonal imbalances or weak veins. Although they do not often cause any painful symptoms or medical complications, many patients are bothered by the appearance of reticular veins and seek treatment to achieve clear, smooth skin.
Sclerotherapy is most often performed to treat reticular veins, while some cases can be treated with a miniphlebectomy, a less invasive alternative to sclerotherapy. Reticular veins should be treated before spider veins so as to prevent early recurrence of the spider veins. Your doctor will decide which treatment option is best for you after a thorough evaluation of your condition.