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Thread Veins: Causes and treatment options?

What are thread veins

Thread veins are small blood vessels which, when dilated, become visible on the top layer of skin. Thanks to their leggy appearance, they are often called “spider veins”. They affect around 80% of adults and occur most commonly on the legs but can also appear on the face, chest or hands. Although generally considered a cosmetic problem, they can be itchy or unsightly, prompting many people to choose to have them removed.


What causes thread veins on the legs?

Thread veins occur when the one-way valves that allow blood to flow back up towards the heart become weakened and malfunction. This results in blood pooling in smaller non-functional veins. Causes include pregnancy, sitting/standing for long periods, obesity, hormone fluctuations, family history, age and underlying conditions.


What causes thread veins on the face?

The face generally has a better blood supply than the legs, for this reason, the appearance of these type of veins on the face is often attributed to arterial pressure, hormonal factors or exposure to the elements.


Are thread veins dangerous?

Thread veins are generally considered a cosmetic issue in and of themselves. However, they are often associated with hidden varicose veins, which can sometimes present complications such as:

  • Trauma to the affected area, causing bleeding that is difficult to stop.

  • The formation of blood clots leading to swelling or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

How can thread veins be treated?

The most common ways to treat thread veins are either by using medical grade lasers such as ND:Yag or IPL (intense pulsed light) or by injecting a substance directly into the vein, known as sclerotherapy. Both these methods are relatively painless with little or no downtime.


How many treatments will I need if I choose to have laser treatment?

Depending on the type of veins you have you should expect to need between 1 - 3 treatments, 3 weeks apart.


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