Types of Varicose Veins: Telangiectases

Varicose Veins refer to a condition of the blood vessels wherein the veins are unusually enlarged (dilated) or swollen. Such veins become easily visible as they develop a dark coloration and are prone to becoming painful. Among the various types of varicose veins, Telangiectases is quite common.

Understanding Telangiectases

Just like most cases of varicose veins, the exact reason for Telangiectases is usually not known. However, Telangiectases has been associated with cases of rosacea and among people undergoing long-term topical therapy with corticosteroids. Telangiectasia is commonly seen as a genetic condition where it is present in the form of dark-red veins among newborns. Telangiectases is also associated with long-term exposure to sun and old age. Unlike most types of varicose veins, Telangiectases may not be painful.

However, it has an equally damaging effect on the appearance of the individual. Telangiectases is more common on the face of newborns and thighs and legs of adults. Some Telangiectases are soft in nature, i.e. they have a light hue of red and can be pressed upon and this makes them disappear for a few minutes. However, other Telangiectases can be quite sturdy and have a very dark coloration.

Types of Telangiectases

Providing a very clear demarcation of various types of Telangiectases is difficult since there are so many variations. However, most cases of Telangiectases are grouped under:

  • Angioma Serpiginosum—symptoms include very minute blood vessels that are extremely superficial in nature, i.e. clearly visible, appearing as if the red-colored blood vessels are protruding through the skin. However, instead of having long, linear structure, most cases of Angioma Serpiginosum show the development of characteristic, dot-like reddened clusters. Bleeding and inflammation in this form of Telangiectases are rare.
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia—this is an inherited form of Telangiectases. The characteristic symptom is the lack of coordination or ataxia and respiratory problems in the affected baby. The venous swelling has a spider web-like pattern.
  • Infantile Hemangioma—a benign condition of blood vessels where the cells lining the blood vessels are unable to contain the pressure of blood and are extremely vulnerable to dilatation. This is also an inherited form of Telangiectases, commonly visible in the child, a few months after birth.