Get ready to lose the thread. Thread veins are a common problem that can have a number of different causes; such as ageing, hormones and skin fragility. These highly visible veins mostly affect the legs, face and torso, and can affect both people’s confidence and self-esteem. Thread vein removal involves either injecting the veins with a solution designed to make them disappear, or using Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to collapse them, removing them from sight.
Thread vein treatment usually takes about 30 minutes to complete, although this depends on the size of the area being treated. Whether you are being treated with an injectable solution or IPL, the principle is the same – the lining of the vein is deliberately damaged, causing the blood vessel to close off and collapse. The body then treats this vein as damaged tissue and absorbs it over the course of the next few months – so that you can get on with your life with more confidence.
After your treatment, your practitioner will give you support stockings to wear on the affected area for the next few days. They will also instruct you on what activities to avoid, as some things such as sunbathing or vigorous exercise may be harmful – we reckon that’s a pretty good excuse to have a week off from the gym.
It can take up to 5 sessions of treatment for the thread veins to disappear completely. However, treatment cannot prevent new thread veins appearing in the future. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the veins will start to look worse before they get better, with larger vessels likely to turn black. Fading starts three weeks after treatment, and it can be up to three months before the main improvement is seen – so hang on in there!
Thread vein removal treatment is suitable for the majority of people, however it is best avoided during pregnancy. If you suffer from any medical conditions, you should consult a practitioner to see whether treatment is suitable for you. People suffering from varicose veins will need to have these assessed by Doppler ultrasound before they can undergo treatment.
Thread veins can be hereditary – so if your parents have them, you are more likely to develop them too. Women who have had several pregnancies are also more likely to develop thread veins than women who have never been pregnant at all.