Thread Veins

What are Thread Veins?

Thread veins, also known as spider veins or telangiectasia, are dilated veins which are visible on the skin surface as red or blue clusters of veins. They can occur on your face or legs. They are a very common condition in both men and women.

Thread veins can appear for many different reasons, the most common causes include:

  • Ageing: the risk of having thread veins increases with age, although even young adults can be affected

  • Genetics: if thread veins tend to run in your family, you are more likely to have them too

  • Obesity: the extra pressure of being overweight also contributes to poor circulation in the skin, with thread veins a frequent outcome

  • Pregnancy: pregnant women often find that they develop thread veins. The hormone oestrogen relaxes blood vessel walls and this can cause thread veins to appear. 

  • Venous incompetence: some thread veins come as a result of extra pressure in the veins deeper in the leg which need to be addressed first.

Treatment

Microsclerotherapy is the mainstay of treatment. This is performed by injecting a dilute foam solution into the vein using a very fine needle. The blood vessel is destroyed, becomes fibrotic, and eventually disappears. 

Sometimes clusters of veins communicate with each other and so one injection can seal many veins, but often each vein will have to be addressed with a single injection. Many thread veins can be injected in one session. More than one session may be required to gain the best results.

Following treatment you will need to wear compression stockings for 14 days. Do not be alarmed if the veins look worse immediately following treatment. It can take several weeks before you see an improvement.

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