Thread veins are tiny blood vessels which run close to the surface of the skin and look like fine red, or sometimes purple, wiggly lines. They’re also sometimes called ‘spider veins’ or ‘broken veins’, although the veins aren’t in fact broken but only slightly enlarged.
Usually there’s no obvious cause. Thread veins tend to develop as we age and our skin and blood vessels become less elastic. You can also inherit a family tendency to the problem and it often become more apparent in pregnancy (thought to be due to high levels of oestrogen). Other causes include too much sunbathing, exposure to wind or extreme temperatures.
Thread veins do not signify any underlying medical problem, and are nothing to be concerned about, although many women and women do find them unsightly. They usually occur on the legs and face although other parts of the body may be affected.
Thread veins or spider veins, as they are sometimes known, can appear on any part of the body but are commonly visible on people’s faces. If these little red veins seem to be the bane of your life, we may have a solution to remedy them.
Dr Jess has been using a system at the cutting edge of technology called ‘Veinwave’ for around 7 years. Veinwave is a revolutionary technique developed by leading Vascular Surgeons specifically for the treatment of fine thread veins, telangiectasia androsacea. It works by using microwaves to heat the vessels, utilizing very high frequency energy, resulting in their instant disappearance, a process known as thermo-coagulation.
Veinwave uses a very fine needle which allows accurate application of the treatment. In most cases a series of Veinwave treatments may be required to achieve the desired result.
Other treatments for thread veins are available. Micro-sclerotheropy is a widely used procedure for the removal of thread veins on the legs but is generally less effective on the finer veins and is not usually suitable for the delicate areas of the face or ankles. Laser devices on the other hand, originally designed for hair removal, are in some cases used to treat thread veins but the procedure is painful, offers limited success and carries the risk of long term scarring.