What Are Reticular Veins?

Reticular veins, known as feeder veins, are small, blue or green veins visible just beneath the skin's surface. They are often found on the legs, thighs, and feet and can be a cosmetic concern for many people. Reticular veins are usually not painful but can sometimes cause discomfort and itching. Larger than spider veins and smaller than varicose veins, they are typically one to three millimeters in diameter and may appear as a network of thin, jagged lines or a cluster of tiny dots.

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Symptoms of Reticular Veins

The symptoms of reticular veins vary from person to person. Some people may not experience symptoms, while others may experience discomfort or pain. The most common symptoms of reticular veins include:

  • Visible blue or green veins on the skin
  • Mild to moderate pain or discomfort in the affected area
  • Aching or throbbing sensation in the legs
  • Swelling or inflammation of the affected area
  • Itching or burning sensation in the area

Who Gets Reticular Veins?


One of the most common causes of reticular veins is heredity. A person with a family history of varicose, spider, or reticular veins is more likely to develop them themselves. The reason for this is the valves in the veins responsible for helping the blood flow back to the heart may be weaker in some people, making it easier for blood to pool in the veins and cause them to become dilated.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes can also contribute to the development of reticular veins because hormones like estrogen can weaken the walls of the veins and cause them to become dilated. Women are more likely to develop reticular veins than men, and they may notice that their veins become more prominent during certain times of the month or pregnancy.


Pregnancy is a common cause of reticular veins in women. As the uterus grows, it puts pressure on the veins in the pelvis and legs, making it harder for blood to flow back to the heart. This can cause the veins to dilate and appear as reticular veins on the skin. Women who have multiple pregnancies or are overweight are more likely to develop reticular veins during pregnancy.

Treatment Options


Sclerotherapy is a standard treatment option for reticular veins. It involves a solution injected directly into the vein, causing it to collapse and fade over time. This procedure is typically done in a doctor's office and is relatively painless. Patients may experience discomfort, bruising, or swelling after the procedure, but these side effects are typically mild and subside within a few days. Sclerotherapy is often recommended for patients with small to medium-sized reticular veins.

Lifestyle Changes Can Help

One of the most effective prevention methods for reticular veins is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. These lifestyle habits can help to improve circulation and reduce the risk of developing vein problems. In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, several other steps can prevent reticular veins. These include:

  • Avoiding tight clothing that restricts circulation
  • Elevating the legs when sitting or lying down
  • Avoiding prolonged periods of standing or sitting
  • Wearing compression stockings to improve circulation
  • Using sunscreen to protect the skin from damage

Are You Concerned About Reticular Veins?

At the Spartz Vein Clinic by Skin Care Doctors, our board-certified doctor, Dr. Spartz, is skilled in the most advanced treatment techniques for any type of venous disease. If you have any concerning veins, Dr. Spartz will compassionately assess them and give you a precise treatment plan to help you feel at ease. With proper treatment, you can be free from unsightly or uncomfortable veins. Contact our office today to ensure you have healthy veins and smooth, even-toned skin.

Better skin health starts here. Schedule your appointment today.

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