Ask The Expert: Thread Veins

It's been a while since we last posted an Ask The Expert so we thought we'd get our lovely Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner, Saria Tahir, to answer a question all about thread veins...

I’ve noticed that I’ve got quite a lot of very small, thin purple veins on my legs. They’re mostly on my calves and there are a few on my thighs. What are they? Am I going to develop varicose veins?! How do I get rid of them?

Saria: What you’re describing sounds more like thread veins than varicose veins. Thread veins, sometimes also referred to as spider veins, are very fine veins which can be seen on the surface of the skin. They are usually purple, red or blue in colour and they most frequently appear on the legs and the face.

Unfortunately they’re just one of those things that some of us will develop in our lifetimes. They’re more common in women than men (typical!) and it is believed that age and hormonal changes can play a part in causing them. Thankfully they are not harmful and don’t indicate any underlying medical condition, however, they can be unsightly and do have a tendency to increase in both size and number over time.

There’s not much that you can do yourself to get rid of them, however, there are a few treatments that can significantly improve the appearance of them, including several different types of laser treatment. At Woodlands, we use Microsclerotherapy to treat thread veins, as this is a safe and extremely effective procedure.

Microsclerotherapy, or sclerotherapy, involves injecting a special sclerosing agent directly into each thread vein, which causes the vein to essentially collapse and disappear after a few weeks. Sounds a bit scary, I know, but don’t worry! We use a very fine needle and each injection is tiny and quite quick. Depending on the size and number of the thread veins on your legs, you may require a few sessions, but this is something we would assess and discuss at your consultation. 

Something to bear in mind with sclerotherapy is that the results can look worse before they look better. Some patients develop bruising or redness in the areas treated. We also encourage you to wear compression stockings or tights for a few days after treatment. I mention this because it’s important to factor in recovery time when planning your appointments, especially if you’ve got any occasions coming up, such as a holiday or a party, where you wouldn’t want to be sporting bruised legs or extra thick stockings!

If you’d like to know more about treating your thread veins at Woodlands, simply call our team on 0151 728 2536 and we’ll get you booked in for a consultation!