Pretty much everyone has heard of varicose veins and spider veins, but did you know there’s a third type of vein that can cause similar symptoms? They’re called reticular veins, and like spider veins and varicose veins, they can be just as unsightly cause the same type of painful symptoms as larger varicose veins — and what’s more, without treatment, reticular veins can actually make your varicose veins worse.
What are reticular veins?
Reticular veins are dilated veins that are larger than spider veins but smaller than most varicose veins, and like these two common types of abnormal veins, they also contain malfunctioning valves that allow the blood to move “backward,” resulting in their unattractive greenish or bluish appearance. Also called feeder veins because they supply spider veins with blood, reticular veins are more superficial than varicose veins, and they often appear on the backs of the calves, thighs or knees, or around the ankles.
Can reticular veins be prevented?
There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing reticular veins, including:
- older age
- hormonal changes
- sun exposure
- sedentary lifestyle
- occupations that require long periods of standing
Some of these factors can be controlled; for instance, quitting smoking, avoiding diets high in sodium, drinking plenty of water, and getting a moderate amount of aerobic exercise like walking can all help keep your veins healthy. But other factors, like age and genetics, can’t be controlled. And sometimes, even with your best efforts, you’ll still develop reticular veins.
How are reticular veins treated?
Reticular veins don’t always cause the painful symptoms or “tired out” feelings associated with varicose veins and tangles of spider veins, but when they occur in clusters, they’re more likely to be uncomfortable. And even without symptoms, these veins contribute to the formation of spider veins as well as persistent vein disease that interferes with normal, healthy circulation. That means that to prevent these potentially serious issues from occurring, reticular veins need to be treated as early as possible, even if you don’t notice any physical symptoms from the veins themselves.
Today, there are many options for treating reticular veins in their early stages to help prevent an additional vascular disease from occurring. Some reticular veins may be treated with laser therapy, but most respond best to sclerotherapy, a simple, in-office technique that uses injections of a special chemical solution to irritate the vessel lining, causing the abnormal vein to “shut down” so blood is rerouted to healthy veins.
Find out more.
Your veins play a vital role in your overall health by helping your organs and tissues get the oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood they need for normal function. If you have spider veins, reticular veins or varicose veins, that means your circulation is impaired, and that can have a significant effect on your overall health and wellness. At the Vein and Vascular Institute of New Jersey, Dr. Charles Dietzek offers state-of-the-art treatments for vein problems so you can enjoy better health and relieve uncomfortable symptoms. To learn more about the treatment options that can help your veins stay healthy, call the Vein and Vascular Institute of New Jersey at 856-309-8346 and schedule a vein evaluation today.