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Do reticular veins cause varicose veins?

This question was asked in Chicago, Illinois and has 5 answer(s) as of 12/10/2012.
Do reticular veins cause varicose veins?


Doctors Answers (5)

Reticular veins cause spider veins; saphenous veins below the skin surface cause varicose veinson the surface.

Actually, it's the other way around. Varicose veins are the root of the problem and they branch into smaller (reticular) and eventually even smaller (spider veins) veins as they become more superficial.

Reticular veins, like all veins, can be normal or abnormal. Reticular veins run in the reticular layer of the dermis (skin). In their normal state, they are not visible, or they can be seen as the small blue veins under the skin. They have small one way valves, and when those valves stop working properly, they can dilate and enlarge. With time, they can become varicose veins.

Reticular veins are normally small to medium sized veins (usually 1-2mm in diameter) near the dermis of the skin. Problem reticular veins have poor blood flow becoming twisted and deformed with increased venous pressure resulting in the formation of red or purple spider veins. Reticular veins may enlarge over time and are considered small varicose veins when they are at least 3mm in diameter and typically bulging at the skin surface. However, medium and large varicose veins are usually the result of failed venous valves which maintain venous one-way blood flow. Varicose veins are also caused by other varicose veins and malfunctioning perforating veins (which are connections to the deep veins) which increase venous pressure and cause normal veins to enlarge and become varicose.

No, reticular veins are the smallest branches of the venous system, and they become visible due multiple factors, i.e. venous hypertension in the feeder veins beneath the skin, female gender, hormone replacement therapy, multiparity, just to name a few.

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