In simpler terms, “Telangiectasia” is also known as Spider veins which can occur at any point of time and it mostly deals with the swollen and bulging out veins, present mostly in legs and arms.
Spider veins, which are also termed as telangiectasia or thread veins, are minuscule, overindulged veins that are situated nearer to the skin surface and measures around 0.5 – 1mm in diameter.
They may acquire the red, purple or blue color. They usually occur on the legs, especially the calves, thighs, and ankles; but can also appear on the face (e.g. cheeks or nose), or hands or other body areas.
Reticular veins, on the other hand, are generally found in the existence of spider veins. These slightly bigger (1 – 3mm diameter) and deeper veins are commonly blue in color and may also be attributed to as ‘feeder’ veins, as when they are ineffectual, the concentrating of the blood in them can feedback to the tiny surface vessels to create spider veins.
80% of both men and women between the ages of 18 to 64 will have at least mild but visible spider and/or reticular veins.
Reticular & Spider Veins
Reticular and spider veins can be quite visible against the skin and agonizers may thus feel uncomfortable and embarrassed about wearing clothing that reveals them, preferring long pants or long skirts even in torrid summer.
In the CEAP clinical classification system, spider and reticular veins are categorized as C1 and are basically considered as primarily a cosmetic situation at this stage.
According to some renowned doctors, spider and reticular veins are very common to each other. Recent studies have revealed that over 80% of both men and women between the ages of 18 to 64 will have at least mild but visible spider and/or reticular veins.
Generally, women are affected and distressed more in number than the men, and particularly as they grow older with time. It has also been found out that, spider and reticular veins tend to grow out from varicose veins, which are larger in number and enormous in size.
How do They Occur?
In the last few years, several pieces of research have proved that spider veins and reticular veins can occur due to the following circumstances:
- Aging. The flexibility of the veins become weak as one gets older
- The genes of every individual; if one holds a family history of spider and reticular veins, there are high chances that the person will acquire them too
- Compelling situations that cause increased abdominal pressure such as chronic constipation, abdominal tumors or wearing tight girdles
- Injury to the skin and previously done vein surgery
- Too much of weight; being obese (especially belly fat) raises the pressure on the leg veins
- Standing or sitting at a stretch for a long period of time
- Inactivity or paralysis, such as being confined to bed
- Too much of sun exposure, especially on very fair skin, can be the result of spider veins on the face
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Spider Veins & Women
In addition to these factors, the simple reason of being women can increase your risk of spider veins:
- Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause protract and swell the veins
- Taking contraceptive pills and hormone replacement therapy have a similar effect in distending the veins
- During the time of pregnancy, the pressure of the developing uterus and the increased volume of blood causes veins to inflate and swell
These crucial considering components are rising with the passage of time and with the changing lifestyle of the people.
In order to understand the importance and the austerity of the effect of spider veins and reticular veins, it is of utmost importance to apprehend the symptoms of these vein disorders.
Spider veins are usually diagnosed by their visual look, which can be like one or more of the following appearances:
- Red or purple spider web-like tiny veins
- The ends of uneven tree branches
- Interconnected hairs
Spider veins are diagnosed by the look and are usually red or purple spider web-like tiny veins.
How to Recognize
Reticular veins are also visually recognizable, although being a little deeper under the skin they may not be quite as obvious as the spider veins. They generally appear as blue or purple vessels and are often found in the similar region as that of the spider veins. In some situations, they may also be slightly braided like larger varicose veins.
Other than their outer appearance, both spider and reticular veins may come with physical symptoms such as:
- Discomfort and irritation in your legs
- Itchiness in the particular area
- A burning feeling around the spot
The Scientific Approach
The generating of spider veins or reticular veins can be caused by many reasons. The veins and arteries in our bodies are part of the human circulatory system. It is the duty of the arteries to pump the blood around the body. After the oxygen and nutrients are spread out, the blood flows into the veins, some of which are just below the skin. The forward flow of blood is ensured through:
- One way valves present in the veins, which prevents the backward flow
- The squeezing of the blood done by the calf muscles toward the heart when one moves about
- The conducting of energy done by arteries to the veins to send blood towards the heart
- Stretching, as veins dilate and contract to aid in the upward blood flow
However, the capability of these valves and the stretchiness of the walls of the vein can be distressed or reduced, which hence is the outcome of the backflow and pooling of blood in the veins. After then, the veins expand and stretch. This is known as venous incompetence.
In the larger vessels, venous incompetence can result in varicose veins, whilst in the smaller more evident vessels and capillaries, the reticular and spider veins can occur.
Commonly, they occur in the legs because the veins in the lower limits have to overcome the gravity and withstand the most pressure to move the blood back to the heart. If the pressure is stronger than the one-way valves and vein wall tone, varicose and spider veins start growing.
Spider veins and reticular veins usually come with a lesser set of aggravations and simple cases of spider and/or reticular veins are fundamentally a cosmetic case, and as such, they are more likely to create a consequence on the lifestyle rather than posing a sudden risk to the health.