There are three types of visible leg veins to consider
Spider veins (or telangiectasia) measure less than 1mm in diameter. They are reddish or bluish in colour and mostly occur in the thighs and calves.
Reticular veins (or thread veins) are slightly larger, measuring 2 to 3mm in diameter. They are usually straight and green or blue in colour.
Varicose veins can be visible under the surface of the skin and more than 4mm in diameter. Deeper varicose veins, which cannot be seen, can measure 8mm or more.
What causes visible leg veins?
The occurrence of these visible leg veins increase as we age and are most likely to start to appear over the age of 40.
Risk factors include trauma, surgery, sun exposure, obesity and leading a sedentary lifestyle. There is also evidence that having a standing profession, for example, hairdressing, will put you at a higher risk. Hormonal changes, such as in pregnancy or menopause, can also lead to unsightly leg veins. But the main cause is a family history of veins and valves not working correctly.
What can I do about my visible leg veins?
Your leg veins may be impacting on your confidence and preventing you from wearing certain clothes or enjoying certain activities. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available. Sclerotherapy is proven to effectively treat spider, reticular and varicose veins. It is recommended in European Guidelines developed by clinical experts on how to treat them.