What are thread veins?
Thread veins are medically known as telangiectasia but many people also refer to them as spider veins. Thread veins are very small blood vessels located just beneath the skin that have become dilated and visible. Thread veins can be red, purple or blue in colour and appear as thin lines that may form a webbed pattern or branches. They most commonly appear on the face or legs but are not usually painful.
What causes thread veins?
There are a variety of different causes for thread veins which are usually categorised into 5 key causes. These are;
- Hormones – One of the most common causes for thread veins are pregnancy due to the hormonal changes. Other changes such as the menopause and puberty can also trigger thread veins to develop.
- Genetics – Unfortunately if thread veins are common in your family then it is most likely that you will be more susceptible to developing them too.
- Medical Conditions – There are medical conditions that can increase your likelihood of developing thread veins such as liver disease and rosacea.
- Trauma – Injury or trauma to the skin can cause thread veins to appear. For example, excessively blowing your nose can cause thread veins to develop around the nose.
- Age – As we age, we become more at risk for developing varicose veins. This can be a result of skin becoming thinner due to collagen breakdown and veins becoming more noticeable on the surface of the skin.
How can I treat thread veins?
There are several thread vein removal treatments available depending on the location of the thread vein.
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy
For thread veins on the face we tend to offer intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy which uses a light source to generate heat in the vein. This damages the walls of the blood vessel which then causes them to collapse and they will then disappear over time. IPL therapy is very effective on small thread veins that sit close to the surface of the skin as it is able to reach the veins without damaging the surface of the skin.
Our Cutera CoolGlide treatment is used for thread veins on the legs but can also be used on the face especially under eye thread veins. The treatment directs intense light at the thread veins causing them to collapse. The vein will then be absorbed by the body over time.
Sclerotherapy treatment is another option for patients with troublesome thread veins on the legs. In this treatment, a sclerosing agent is injected into the veins. This solution causes the walls of the vein to become sticky and blood becomes unable to pass through. With no blood passing through the vein, it gradually gets broken down by the body eventually and disappears from view.
When it comes to choosing which thread vein treatment to have, our expert nurses and practitioners will help to advise you on the most suitable treatment taking into consideration their location and severity.
Thread Veins vs Varicose Veins
Thread veins and varicose veins can often be confused. Whereas thread veins are usually a lot smaller and flat to the skin, varicose veins are a lot more prominent and have a twisted and lumpy appearance.
In some cases, thread veins on the legs may actually be caused by underlying varicose veins – or some people who think they have thread veins may actually have varicose veins. Our team of vascular surgeons at The Private Clinic are very experienced in treating varicose veins and we have a range of treatments including EVLA (Endovenous Laser Ablation) or Endovenous laser treatment, Sclerotherapy (Foam & Liquid), VenaSeal and Phlebectomy to help treat them.
If you are unsure about your veins, we advise booking a consultation with one of our expert vascular surgeons who will be able to help offer advice on the best treatment. Download our varicose vein treatment brochure
The Private Clinic works with highly qualified vascular surgeons across the UK:
- Mr Dynesh Rittoo MBChB, FRCS (Eng), FRCS (Gen Surg) GMC: 3556456
- Mr Rajiv Pathak MBBS, MS, FRCS, FRCS (Gen) GMC: 4585309
- Mr Serracino-Inglott MD FRCSI FRCS (Gen) DIC MSc GMC: 5206200
- Mr Kyriakides MD, FRCS (Gen) GMC: 3275436
- Mr Tahir Hussain MS FRCS GMC: 3242669
- Mr Charles Ranaboldo BM FRCS MS GMC: 2939195
- Professor Rajiv Vohra – MBBS GMC: 3158700
Why Choose The Private Clinic of Harley Street for Thread Vein Removal?
Here at The Private Clinic, we have carried out over 7,000 procedures in treating veins and are a UK centre of excellence for the minimally invasive treatment of veins. We provide the highest standard of clinical care and offer the latest technologies available in the industry.
- View our thread vein before and after result photos
- View our under eye thread vein before and after result photos
- Read our extensive thread vein FAQs
- Read our extensive facial thread vein FAQs
- Find out more information in our thread spider vein blogs
To book a consultation to find out more about thread vein treatments at The Private Clinic, call us on 0333 920 2471 or use our thread vein online contact form.