What are thread veins?
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 infact 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.
You can also inherit a family tendency to the problem. Other causes include too much sunbathing, exposure to wind or extreme temperatures, cortico-steroid medicines and radiotherapy. Jobs that involve prolonged standing may aggravate the condition, but they don’t actually cause it. Although you may not like the look of them, thread veins aren’t dangerous, but they tend to become larger and increase in number over time.
Who gets them?
Nearly all of us as we age. Around one in five women in their 20s have thread veins, a figure that rises to around half by the age of forty and continues to increase. By the age of 70 over 70 per cent of women have some thread veins.
How do we treat them?
Here at DD Clinical we can use our Harmony XL Pro laser to remove the appearance of vascular lesions with excellent clinical results. The laser targets the thread vein to blanch the vessel with some cases needing maintenance over a period of years.
What areas can be treated?
We only treat facial spider veins. On other areas such as the legs the veins can be much more extensive and we would recommend laser treatment, or referral to a vascular surgeon depending on the cause.