Thread veins, sometimes called spider veins or “telangiectaesia” are the small red or blue veins which can appear at various sites on the body.
Thread Vein Treatments
They can be caused by a variety of different factors such as wind and extremes of temperature, steroid creams and changes in hormonal balance. There can also be genetic reasons with some people more likely to develop thread veins than others.
Treatments for Thread Veins (Spider Veins)
At Laserase Bolton, we offer both laser and microsclerotherapy treatments to maximise our ability to clear thread veins. Depending on the size of the veins and where they are on the body we will recommend either one or a combination of the two treatments. This combination of treatments can also work on some vascular lesions.
As with all medical treatments it is possible that not everyone will respond to treatment. You will be advised of any possible complications during your consultation.
We use a long pulsed ND:Yag laser which is very efficient at removing blood vessels. However, on assessment your practitioner may feel it necessary to use the AFT 540 or 570. This will be discussed during your consultation.
The laser is fired in short bursts at the thread veins and produces a wavelength that is matched to a target colour. The laser light is absorbed by the target but not the surrounding tissue. The heat from the laser breaks down the thread veins into tiny particles which the body then destroys.
The laser can be uncomfortable as it feels like a hot pin-prick to the skin. The area is cooled during treatment to help reduce this and aloe vera or Vaseline is applied afterwards to reduce the risk of blistering.
Immediately after treatment veins are likely to be more visible but will fade over the course of a few days. Any discolouration or bruising usually subsides after 7-14 days
The number of treatments depends on the size and depth of the thread veins but we will give you an idea at your consultation. Treatments are usually every 6-8 weeks.
Microsclerotherapy is used to remove surface and spider veins . It works by inserting a very fine needle into the vein to be treated. The vein is filled with a liquid known as a sclerosing liquid which causes microscopic damage to the lining of the vein. The blood is therefore directed away from this vein causing it to be absorbed by the body and the blood is diverted towards larger veins further under the surface.
Microsclerotherapy is much less painful than other injections or blood tests but the after effects are similar. For a day or two after treatment the site of the injection looks like a small insect bite but this goes quickly. A tiny scab may form and the area will look bruised. The bruising will last for around 2-3 weeks. Any remaining veins can be re-injected after about 8-12 weeks to reduce them further.
This treatment is not suitable for pregnant or breast feeding ladies nor for those taking certain medications. At your consultation you will be made fully aware of any side effects and any possible complications and you will be given an advice sheet on what to do before and after your treatment.
What is microsclerotherapy?
Microsclerotherapy involves the introduction of an extremely fine needle into the vein to be treated. The vein is then filled with a sclerosing liquid which causes microscopic damage to the cells lining the vein. The body responds to this damage causing the vessel to shrink and eventually to be obliterated.
What does it feel like?
The sclerosing agent is used in tiny amounts and causes minimal discomfort, like a tiny pin prick. It is much less painful than other injections or blood tests.
What happens after microsclerotherapy?
For a day or two after treatment, the injection sites look rather like insect bites but these subside quickly. Tiny scabs may form at the injection site and the treated area will appear bruised. The bruising may last for 2-3 weeks. After 8-12 weeks remaining veins can be re-injected to reduce them further.
What are the possible complications of microsclerotherapy?
Complications of microsclerotherapy are rare but can occur. Following treatment some patients develop brown discoloration of the skin which is due to the deposition of an iron-containing pigment (hemosiderin) in the skin. This pigment may take a long time to fade away or, in very rare cases, can even be permanent. Other much rarer complications include allergic reactions to the sclerosing solution, inflammation and skin injury which may lead to the development of a small ulcer and permanent scar. The area around the ankle is more likely to have complications than other areas. For the above reasons pregnant or breast feeding ladies will be asked to postpone treatment and patients taking certain medications (such as anticoagulants) will be advised against microsclerotherapy.
How does laser therapy work?
Lasers produce light of a very specific wavelength. The wavelength is matched to a target colour (such as the red of blood or the vessel wall). The laser light is absorbed by the target but not the surrounding tissue. The heat energy from the laser pulses breaks down the thread veins into tiny particles. These particles are then dispersed naturally in the body and therefore the veins fade or disappear over several weeks.
Which laser will be used?
We use either the long pulsed ND:Yag laser, AFT 570 or AFT 540 Intense Pulse Light, all of which are very efficient at removing blood vessels. It will be discussed fully as to which one we will use during your consultation.
What is laser treatment like?
The laser is fired in short bursts at the thread veins. This feels like a hot pin-prick on the skin and some patients may find this a little uncomfortable. During treatment the target area will be cooled in order to reduce sensation. Following treatment aloe vera or Vaseline will be applied to reduce risk of blistering.
What can I expect after laser treatment?
Immediately after treatment the majority of treated veins are likely to be more visible. In the case of thicker veins there may be some skin reaction in the form of slight blistering or light crusting. This usually subsides within a few days. Fine facial veins can sometimes disappear at the time of treatment, although this cannot be guaranteed. Any discoloration/bruising usually fades after 7-14 days.
How many treatments will I need and how often?
The number of treatments required will depend upon the site and the extent of the affected area. It will be estimated at your consultation. Treatments are usually planned at 6-8 week intervals for laser treatments and 12 weeks for microsclerotherapy. As with all medical treatments it is possible that not everyone will respond to treatment. Some patients may obtain a less than average response or may not respond at all.
What are the possible complications of laser therapy?
In general, laser therapy is safe and effective. Whilst complications do sometimes occur, the risk of scarring is very low. Complications may include blistering, fine crusting (particularly on very fine vessels), scarring, ulceration, loss of skin pigment or increased pigmentation. Whilst we have never experienced any long lasting complications, we cannot guarantee that they would not be permanent. The area around the ankle is more likely to have complications than other areas. It is very important that you give details of any medication you are taking and any medical problems you have which may be relevant to the treatment. We do not recommend treatment in patients who are heavily tanned.
Are all thread veins suitable for laser therapy?
Not all thread veins respond to laser therapy as they may be too large or situated too deeply within the skin for the laser to penetrate. In these cases microsclerotherapy may be more effective.
How can I find out more?
Book a consultation or call us on 01204 570 900
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