Thread Veins: Everything you need to know


When you think of varicose veins, it is often the bulging and swollen variety that first spring to mind. However, many people also suffer from smaller spider or thread veins which appear in tiny branch-like patterns across the skin. In this article, we explain what these veins are and how these unsightly thread veins can be treated with our range of minimally invasive treatments.

What are thread or ‘spider’ veins?

Thread veins are small clusters of purple, red or blue veins that typically appear across the face and legs. They are quite distinct from typical varicose veins as they do not bulge under the surface of the skin like standard trunk veins, which are prominent and thick. Valves inside our veins regulate blood flow to ensure that blood flows directly towards the heart. But when these valves get damaged or weaken, blood can pool and collect inside the vein, leading them to branch out into thread veins.

Thread Vein Causes

Also known as spider veins, capillary veins and telangiectasia varicose veins, there is no obvious cause of thread veins. But they typically develop as we age and our skin vessels become less elastic. Factors like sun damage, prolonged standing and excess weight all increase the risk, as they increase pressure inside the veins, leading to poor circulation and weakened vein valves.

What is thread vein removal?

Thanks to modern medical advances, we now have a range of treatments that can remove thread veins by directly treating the faulty veins. At The Cosmetic Skin Clinic, we offer two types of treatment to target spider vein clusters:

Thread Vein Removal treatments

  • IPL Photo Rejuvenation: Also known as Intense Pulse Light treatment, this photo rejuvenation treatment directs an intense pulse of light onto the broken blood vessels that make up thread veins. This causes the pooled blood to dry out and harden before the body naturally disposes of it.
  • Sclerotherapy: this simple treatment uses a special medical glue called a sclerosant, which is directed inside of the damaged vein with a very fine needle. The substance inflames the vein walls before they stick together. This causes blood to disperse from the vein channel before the vein shrivels and breaks down naturally.

What areas of the body can be treated with Thread Vein Removal?

Thread veins often occur across people’s faces, on places like the nose or cheeks. They are also very common in areas of the legs, from the thighs and ankles to the calve muscles. After having a consultation with one of our vascular specialists, we will recommend an ideal treatment to target your particular problem:

Legs Thread Vein Removal

When treating thread veins on the legs, we use sclerotherapy as the preferred treatment option. We are able to minimise the appearance of these veins across all leg areas. After the treatment has taken place, patients only need to wait between 2-4 weeks for results to show through. By this time, the treated veins will have collapsed and dispersed. Find out more about this treatment in our Youtube video below:

Face Thread Vein Removal

IPL Photo Rejuvenation is ideal to remove face thread veins. This less invasive procedure does not involve any injections and works perfectly across delicate areas like the nose and cheeks. Intense blasts of light energy penetrate the skin to break up and harden the built-up pools of blood in the capillaries. Noticeable results will typically show through after 2-6 sessions.

Finding out more

If you would like to discover more about thread veins and how to remove them, head to our Thread Vein treatment page. One of our expert clinicians who can advise you on the best cause of treatment. Thread vein removal treatments are available at both our London and Buckinghamshire locations. Contact us via our online enquiry form or give us a call on 0330 057 5425.

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