Thread veins are tiny, thin blood vessels, which run close to the surface of the skin and look line fine red or purple wiggly lines. They are also known as spider veins or broken veins. The medical term for this condition is telangiectasia. Although these super-fine veins are connected to the larger venous system they are not an essential part of it.
2. What causes thread veins?
A number of factors contribute to the development of spider veins including, heredity, weight gain, prolonged standing or sitting. The use of certain medications. constrictive clothing, pregnancy and other events which cause hormonal shifts e.g. puberty, birth control pill, menopause and hormone therapy. Facial thread veins can also be caused by tight fitting glasses, squeezing spots, smoking. exposure to wind and cold and over exposure to the sun.
3. What is Laser Vein Treatment?
Laser therapy is a proven treatment for treating unsightly broken, dilated vessels, as well as other unwanted vascular lesions, such as Rosacea, port wine stains and other vascular birthmarks.
4. How does Laser treatment work for thread veins
The Polaris_Nd:YAG laser provides a revolutionary non-invasive treatment, which can quickly and safely remove larger and deeper vessels leaving your skin looking smooth and your legs and face much improved. The redness and bruising associated with traditional treatments or other lasers are minimised or completely eliminated. Polaris provides the most risk free treatment for dark or tanned skin when compared to other existing treatments.
5. Which conditions can be treated?
- Facial thread veins, facial redness and flushing
- Unsightly broken and dilated vessels just under the skin on the body and legs
- Blood spots and spider naevi
- Consultant Dermatologists recommend treatment sooner rather than later, as small veins are easier to treat.
6. How does it work?
The laser works by emitting a specialised light which passes through the skin and is absorbed by its target – in this case the haemoglobin (the red portion of blood) in the unwanted vessels. The laser light energy is converted into thermal energy – the heat then coagulates the blood and destroys the function of the vein. Over time the vein is reabsorbed into the body and is no longer viable.
7. What should I expect after the procedure?
The appearance of the treated vessels will dramatically change, turning from blue and purple into light red. Any inflammation will subside within a couple of hours. The redness of the treated vessels will gradually disappear as the process progresses, which may take between 2 and 6 weeks, depending on the size of the veins treated.
8. What are the Possible side effects from Laser treatment?
The most common side effect is bruising, or purpura, around the treated area, which normally resolves within days of treatment. Temporary hvperpigmentation (brown discolouration) or hypopigmnentation (lightening of the skin) may occur, but this is very rare. Temporary blistering and scabbing may occur on rare occasions but is highly unlikely.
9. How many treatments will I need?
Quite often one treatment is sufficient to achieve full clearance but depending on the severity of the veins you may require two or three treatments. Treatments are approximately 6 weeks apart. Any new developing veins cannot be prevented so if your body tends to develop vascular problems you will most likely need to return for additional treatments.
10. What Post laser treatment care do I need to know?
- Any initial reaction should settle down in a few days
- Avoid direct exposure to bright sunlight for two weeks and wear a sunscreen SPF 15 or higher for at least 48 hours
- Avoid sunbeds for 4 – 6 weeks
- Avoid abrasive scrubs and fake tans
- Avoid hot baths, saunas and excessive exercise for 2 weeks after thread veins and 6 – 8 weeks after larger veins or until bruising subsides
- If you have been wearing support aids such as stockings continue to use these until any bruising subsides
- After removal of large veins avoid flying for 6 weeks
- After facial treatments you may use make-up if necessary, remove with care and pat the skin dry
11. What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are part of the same circulatory disorder as thread veins, but more severe. They affect around one third of women and a smaller percentage of men. They develop when the walls of the vessels and the valves inside them sag under the pressure of the blood they carry. The veins then become painful and lead to complications such as bleeding, swelling and ulceration.
Varicose veins differ from spider veins in a number of ways. Varicose veins are larger – usually more than a quarter-inch in diameter, darker in colour and tend to bulge. Varicose Veins are also more likely to cause pain and can be related to more serious vein disorders.
Due to these complications the Polaris laser system is not used at the Chilston Clinic for Varicose Veins.
12. What are spider veins?
Spider veins – known in medical world as Telangiectasia or Sunburst Varicosity – are small, thin veins that lie close to the surface of the skin. Although these superfine veins are connected with larger venous systems they are not an essential part of it.
A number of factors contribute to the development of spider veins, including heredity, pregnancy and other events that cause hormonal shifts, weight gain, occupations or activities that require prolonged sitting or standing, and the use of certain medication.
Spider veins can occur on any area of the body, but are most common on the legs and face. The exact cause of spider veins is not known, but it has been shown that there is a genetic component to spider veins. While spider veins can occur in both men and women, they are more common in females. It seems as if the hormones oestrogen and progesterone play a role in the development of spider veins. Changes in chemistry such as puberty, birth control pills, menopause and hormone therapy can bring them on. Constrictive clothing, such as tight hosiery and girdles can also cause spider vein development. The spider veins that appear on the face can also be the result of too much sun exposure.