We often have patients enquiring about methods of thread vein removal. In the new year we are lookingto bring a new treatment in to combat ‘spider veins’ and we are currently trailing some different methods and procedures to get the best results.
What are thread veins? Thread veins are tiny blood vessels which run close to the surface of the skin and look like fine red lines. They’re also sometimes called ‘spider veins’ or ‘broken veins’, although the veins aren’t in fact broken but only slightly enlarged. The medical term for them is telangiectasia.
What causes them? Usually there’s no obvious cause. Thread veins tend to develop as we age and our skin and blood vessels become less elastic. Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and the menopause are thought to provoke their development – the reason why women are more prone to them than men.
How are they treated? There are several options, laser therapy, sclerotherapy or a mixture of both. Laser therapy uses brief pulses of laser light to destroy smaller blood vessels. Several types of laser are used. A pulsed dye laser is best for thin red veins which are close to the skin’s surface. Deeper blue or purple veins need a laser with a longer wavelength (YAG laser) to reach them.
Although laser destroys tissue by heat you won’t feel any burning or pain. Each pulse is less than a thousandth of a second and the laser only works on the unwanted vein leaving other skin untouched. The sensation of a laser is often described as similar to a rubber band pinging against your skin.