Spider veins are more likely to appear on women than on men, and they are normally found on the legs but can also appear on the face, breasts and arms. People, especially women, who have thread veins on the face and legs can find them embarrassing or unsightly, and this can really affect their self-confidence.
As we get older, both our skin, and our veins become weakened and this can cause spider veins to look more visible on ageing or mature skin. Tiny blood vessels which become dilated and look as though they are close to the surface of the skin, are known as broken, thread or spider veins. These veins are fine purple or red wavy lines.
There’s usually no obvious cause for getting thread veins, they tend to develop:
- As we get older and the skin and blood vessels become less elastic.
- It’s thought that hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and the menopause provoke their development.
- You can also inherit a family tendency to the problem.
- The elements – too much sunbathing, exposure to wind or extreme temperatures.
- Medical issues – corticosteroid medicines and radiotherapy.
- Jobs involving prolonged standing may aggravate the condition, but doesn’t actually cause it.
- Veins may also be affected by smoking and alcohol.
Spider veins are like varicose veins, but smaller and nearer to the surface of the skin and they can resemble thin tree branches or spider webs, and they might cover either a large, or small area. However, there’s no need to suffer, as there are treatments available that will quickly and safely get rid of these unsightly thread veins, giving the skin a clearer, and more attractive appearance. While there is surgery to treat the larger varicose veins, laser treatment can help with the smaller veins.
Although you may not like the look of them, thread veins aren’t dangerous, but they tend to become larger and increase in number over time. Most spider veins aren’t painful but they can cause us embarrassment. The safest, most effective treatment for spider veins is laser treatment.
At a cosmetic clinic, a laser gets applied to the skin directly above the spider veins. The energy from the laser is preferentially absorbed by coloured tissues, such as thread veins and the energy causes the spider veins to heat up and collapse. After treatment, the body slowly re-absorbs the veins.
Laser treatment benefits include:
- Quickly and safely eradicating the thread veins on the legs
- Veins will only recur in a small percentage of cases
- Treatment can help to restore your self-confidence
- You’re likely to see ongoing improvements after each treatment