Thread veins, also commonly known as spider veins, broken veins or surface veins, are fine yet prominent veins that appear just below the skin’s surface. They are most often found on areas of the face and legs, but can appear anywhere on the body. Their common name derives from their appearance, as their fine lines often produce a spidery pattern on the skin.
Thread veins occur when blood vessels in the skin become permanently dilated. This can be as the result of a number of factors, either singularly or in combination. Causes can include wound or injury, sun exposure, or hormonal changes in the body. They may also be an indication of underlying vein problems.
It is unusual for this condition to manifest physical symptoms. On occasion however patients will experience swelling, throbbing, itching or generalised discomfort around the affected area, and this may be the primary reason that they seek treatment. For most patients however, whilst a clinical approach to treatment is advisable, thread veins represent more of an aesthetic than a medical issue; typically they lower self-esteem and self-confidence.
There are several recognised clinically-based treatments for thread veins. These will vary according to the part of the body affected by the condition, with certain treatments considered effective for certain body parts and not for others. The main thread vein treatment areas are the face and legs, and these are discussed separately below.
Prior to undertaking any thread vein procedure in the leg area, it is always recommended that patients attend a consultation with a specialist to assess the patient’s general health and best method of treatment. This consultation process will also estimate how many sessions are necessary to treat the area of thread veins.
The most effective treatment for thread veins in the leg area is sclerotherapy. This treatment involves the injection of a solution directly into the thread veins with the use a miniscule needle. Any solution injected into thread veins during sclerotherapy will need to be prescribed and administered by a suitably qualified practitioner.
The impact of injection into the vein is generally immediate, although thread veins may temporarily refill with blood in the hours or days subsequent to treatment, before permanently disappearing. Generally, any treatment will need to be repeated over a series of appointments to be fully effective.
There are few side effects to sclerotherapy. Treatment may result in some minor irritation or slight marking of the skin.
Although alternative treatments are available for the removal of thread veins on other parts of the body, these prove to be less successful on the leg, and therefore sclerotherapy is considered the superior treatment option for this part of the body. Sclerotherapy is often the main leg treatment offered at Dr Newman’s UK-wide thread vein removal clinics although it can be used in conjunction with a heat process where appropriate.
The treatment that is often most effective for thread veins in this area of the body is thermocoagulation, also known as Veinwave. This involves the application of a small, heated needle to the skin area directly above the thread vein; this seals the vein and prevents it filling with blood.
The treatment is virtually pain-free, although each application of the needle is accompanied by a slight pricking sensation. The treatment may need to be administered over a number of appointments to be fully effective. There are no side effects associated with the treatment, and normal activities can be resumed immediately upon their conclusion.
For more information on thread veins, or to book a thread vein treatment, please do not hesitate to call or email:
T: 0800 542 2023 or 0203 002 2274