What are varicose veins?
Veins carry blood from various parts of our body toward the heart through a one-way valve. If the vein is weak or has a faulty valve, the valve would stretch and no longer close properly. Thus, the veins become visibly swollen, as these are filled with blood that cannot flow properly. This causes pain, enlargement, discoloration, blood clots, sores that won’t heal, and other problems aside from their unattractive appearance.
Enlarged veins like these are called spider veins or varicose veins. The difference is that spider veins appear as small, thin purple, red or blue veins on the surface of the skin. On the other hand, varicose veins are larger swollen veins that are located slightly deeper than spider veins.
Reticular veins are medium-sized, greenish and non-bulging but abnormally visible veins. These can commonly be found on the outer surface of the thighs and behind the knees. The appearance of reticular veins means the onset or early stage of varicose veins.
Common Types of Varicose Veins
Known in the medical field as telangiectasias, spider veins are small and thin veins that can be found close to the skin’s surface. These super-fine veins are connected to the larger venous system but they are not an integral part of it.
These are veins approximately one to four millimeter in size and appear to be green, flat veins. Reticular veins usually appear in the legs at the outer area of the thigh, in the calf region, or behind the knee. These are not that large in size and do not bulge but they are also unattractive.
These veins are caused by weak vein walls or faulty valves which stretches the valves and hinder proper closing. Because of this, blood is not able to flow normally, leading the veins to become enlarged visibly and triggering other symptoms such as pain, swelling and discoloration.
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