Thread veins are very thin red or purple blood vessels on the surface of the skin. They can be unsightly and give a general red appearance to the skin and are also referred to as spider veins, broken veins and red veins. The medical name for them is telangiectasia.
There is no known specific cause for thread veins but there are associations. Some of these associations include a skin condition called Acne Rosaccea, hormonal changes in women such as in pregnancy or the menopause, sun damage or too much sun exposure, trauma to various parts of the body, legs and face or any form of facial or leg surgery.
Most people will suffer from thread veins and it is thought that around 70% of adults in the country have them to varying degrees. Around one in five women in their 20s have thread veins, a figure that rises to around half by the age of forty and continues to increase. By the age of 70 over 70% of women have some thread veins.
Thread Veins on the face and body can be treated by various different methods including laser, IPL, electrolysis and the revolutionary option of Thermavein (Veinwave). In our clinic we only use the ‘Gold standard’ Thermavein technology as we believe it offers the best results avoiding any permanent damage to the skin. Thermavein uses a tiny Nickel or Gold tip probe which is placed over the individual veins. The vein is then heated using microwaves causing the vein to collapse and be destroyed. Once destroyed the same thread vein will not come back. Each treatment session usually lasts 15-20 minutes and most patients will only need a few sessions to get excellent results.
Thread veins on the legs and ankles are treated by a combination of Thermavein and Sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is a popular method of eliminating thread veins and spider veins. A solution, called a sclerosing agent, is injected into the veins to break down the vein wall.
Generally Thermavein is very well tolerated and most patients hardly feel a thing or a tiny ‘hair pluck’ sensation during treatment. Some patients with have a little redness over the area treated but this will usually last a few days only and can be covered with makeup if required. With Thermavein, unlike laser, there is not a risk of any permanent scarring or skin colour changes (hypo/hyperpigmentation) after treatment.
Micro Sclerotherapy again is very well tolerated and most patients have very limited side effects. Some of the common effects include itching at the injection site, temporary hyperpigmentation and superficial blebs (similar to hives) but this settles down with time.