Tattooing varicose/spider veins in legs
May 25, 2021 1:47 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone share their experience of tattooing over unsightly leg veins?

I am very pale skinned and have had some form of varicose and spidering on the backs of my calves/knees since my twenties (woman, no kids). Some are somewhat blue and bulging a little but none are "ropey". They are mainly dark-blue/purple and spidery. Maybe somewhere between this and this (image links). I checked to see if I could "have them done" as non-cosmetic but they say I don't suffer from venous deficiancy and to lose weight and wear compression socks. I am working on the first and do the second much of the year but summer is coming!

Pricewise it's probably the same to get them done as cosmetic surgery as it is to tattoo over them with something. I'm looking for personal or first-circle experience, tattooists seem to think it's an OK choice, vein clinics seem to think it's not; funny that ;)
posted by J.R. Hartley to Health & Fitness (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
CAN you? yes, with a good artist. SHOULD you? proooooooobably not. tattooing over a big varicose vein could cause it to burst/rupture. they will make the tattoo bumpy/lumpy. and if the veins are covered, it will make them a lot harder if not impossible to remove/treat in the future. source: have looked into this, decided against it as a heavily tattooed person.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:37 AM on May 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

What?! I can't tell where you are from. In the US, there are vein centers everywhere that are happy to help you with your veins of all sizes.

They are more likely to find venous deficiency since that is covered by your insurance ;) . I'm surprised if you have any bulging that you do not have venous deficiency that would be discovered by ultrasounds that would be covered by insurance.

If no venous deficiency (yet, I'd keep checking every year), they may be able to have injections covered.

If not, you can pay out of pocket for injections or lasers depending on the size of the veins. I think injections first and then follow up with lasers for the tiniest. Injections work surprisingly well on small veins and lasers should work very well on your pale skin.

The cost would be different at a medical versus cosmetic center. Depending on your insurance, you may want to check the price of both.

I would think tattoos would be a last resort. Your veins are going to change and get worse and seemingly disrupt the tattoo design.
posted by RoadScholar at 8:32 AM on May 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

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