What are thread veins?
Thread veins also known as spider veins are small blood vessels located below the surface of the skin that has increased in size to make them visible to the naked eye. The medical term for thread veins is telangiectasia and they are most often purple or red in colour and form a wiry pattern with many branches. Thread veins most commonly occur on the legs but can also occur on the face and are not associated with discomfort, unlike varicose veins.
What are the causes of thread veins?
There are several causes of thread veins which may act in combination to increase the risk of their formation including:
- Genetics – thread veins often run in families and if you have a family member with thread veins and it is more likely you will develop them.
- Hormonal fluctuations – thread veins are particularly common in pregnancy due to the increase in oestrogen. Both puberty and menopause may also lead to the development of thread veins.
- Injury to the skin – traumatic injury may result in thread veins. People who blow their noses excessively may be more likely to develop thread veins around the nose.
- Certain medical conditions – chronic liver disease is linked with the development of thread veins. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition closely associated with facial thread veins.
- Ageing process – as we get older, both varicose veins and thread veins are more likely to occur due to thinning of the skin as a result of reduced collagen and elastin production. Thinner skin leads to veins being more noticeable just under the surface of the skin.
What are the best treatments for thread veins?
The two most effective thread vein removal treatments include microsclerotherapy and laser thread vein removal using Nd:YAG laser.
Microsclerotherapy treatment involves the injection of a chemical sclerosant using tiny needles into the affected thread veins. After injection, the vein walls become sticky and blood is unable to pass through the vein which has been injected. The vein eventually collapses and will be destroyed before being reabsorbed by the body as no blood can flow through it. Microsclerotherapy is the gold standard treatment for most leg thread veins. Microsclerotherapy is never used for facial thread veins due to the potential risk of complications including scarring and pigmentation.
Laser thread vein removal
Laser thread vein removal using the Fotona laser is used to treat thread veins on the legs and can also be used to treat facial thread veins safely. The laser specialist will apply laser energy to the thread veins which causes the blood inside the veins to coagulate followed by the collapse of the vein. The vein is then safely absorbed by the body over the next 4 to 6 weeks.
IPL for facial thread veins
Although IPL, also known as intense pulse light is relatively ineffective for the treatment of leg thread veins, IPL is an excellent treatment for treating facial thread veins. The treatment involves using a light source to generate short pulses of light which cause damage to the blood vessel walls and this causes the vein to collapse and the subsequent absorption of the vein by the body. Smaller thread veins on the face can be treated effectively with IPL without causing potential damage to other skin structures.
Thread Veins Vs Varicose Veins
Although thread veins and varicose veins are similar in some respects, they are commonly confused with one another. Thread veins are much smaller in diameter compared with varicose veins and do not bulge and protrude as varicose veins do. Varicose veins often have a lumpy and twisted appearance when they are long-standing. Varicose veins may even be a cause of thread veins on the legs. It is not uncommon for people to present for thread vein treatment when they actually have varicose veins. Our vein specialists at Centre for Surgery are experts in the treatment of varicose veins using the most effective methods including EVLA (endovenous laser ablation), foam and liquid sclerotherapy and phlebectomy. Endovenous laser treatment remains the most effective minimally invasive treatment for the vast majority of varicose veins without the need for more invasive varicose vein surgery.
RELATED: What are varicose veins?
To determine the most appropriate treatment option, we would recommend booking a leg vein consultation with one of our vein specialists. They will be able to give customised advice after a thorough clinical assessment including a duplex ultrasound scan. Our varicose vein specialists are some of the most experienced vascular experts in the UK with years of experience treating all types of thread veins and varicose veins.
Why choose Centre for Surgery for thread vein removal?
Centre for Surgery in London is home to the best vein experts in the UK and is recognised as a centre of excellence for the treatment of all types of leg veins including thread veins (spider veins) and varicose veins. Our practice philosophy is to maintain the highest standards of medical care using the most advanced techniques. If you would like to learn more about thread vein treatments at Centre for Surgery, call us today on (020) 7993 4849 or complete the thread vein contact form below.
RELATED: Thread Vein Treatment Prices
Thread veins and spider veins are treated at our 106 Crawford Street Clinic in central London.