Thread vein treatments

Leg spider veins

The most effective treatment for leg spider veins (known medically as telangiectasias) is Microsclerotherapy. A fine needle is used to inject a prescription medicine called a sclerosant into the broken veins. A healing process starts which results in the vein fading and becoming less noticeable. Typically, 3 treatments are required separated by 3 months. The process may take 12-18 months to complete.

To get the best results from treatment, it is very important to have a proper assessment of the whole vein system in the leg to see if there is any connection between the superficial thread veins and the deeper veins. This is very important, because if there is a connection, which is not treated, then back flow and high pressure will work against the treatment, making it less effective. At The VeinCare Centre, we specialize in the treatment of varicose veins and thread veins on the legs and an ultrasound examination of the whole vein system is part of the consultation.

Recent research has shown that nearly all thread veins have a ‘feeder’ vein nearby that also needs treatment. These veins are called reticular veins. As part of the consultation and examination, a careful search is made for these reticular veins.

Facial spider veins

The medical term for spider veins on the nose and cheeks is facial telangiectasia. These are small blood vessels in the skin typically measuring less than 1 mm. They are very common and they are unsightly and disfiguring. They can be congenital, that is you may have been born with them or they may have developed over the course of many years. Sun exposure is the main aggravating factor for their appearance, but other important causes are liver disease, rosacea, smoking, use of steroid creams and alcohol. Many people who have an out-door occupation such as farmers, window cleaners, gardeners or builders can get them because of sun exposure and ultraviolet damage to the skin. However, those with out-door hobbies and those who take part in sport can also be affected, for example people who enjoy sailing, walking or hiking or those who take frequent holidays to the sun.

Fortunately, they can be treated very simply using a medical procedure called short wave diathermy. It is a little bit like electrolysis. The skin is numbed with local anaesthetic cream and a sterile single use needle is used to apply a precise medical electrical current to the blood vessel. The electrical current cauterises the blood vessel and over the course of a few weeks it disperses. In general the results are excellent. Unlike leg spider veins, there is no need for a duplex scan but after successful treatment, it is important to address any pre-disposing factors to minimise the risk of the spider veins reappearing. This usually means applying a good quality UV protecting sun cream to reduce the damaging effects of ultraviolet light.