Thread veins refer to small blood vessels that run across to the skin surface. They look like fine red or at times they might look purple, wiggly veins. They are also known as spider veins or broken veins despite that they are also not broken, just slightly bigger.
In most cases thread veins tend to develop as a person ages and the blood vessels and skin become elastic. It is also believed that hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and during menopause can also contribute to their occurrence. This is one of the major reasons why women are more prone to this issue.
It is also possible to inherit them then if your family has history of members suffering from this problem. Other causes include exposure to wind, sunbathing, extreme temperatures and radiotherapy. Jobs that require a person to stand for a long time are also known to contribute to the development of thread veins. However, it is good to note that they do not cause the problem, but aggravate the condition.
Who is prone to get them?
Nearly all people age and it is estimated that one in every five women in their twenties have them. This figure goes up when one reaches forty and above. It is also estimated that at seventy years, over seventy percent of women above this age have the thread veins.
There are different treatment options available for treating this problem. Some of the treatment options include sclerotherapy, laser therapy or a combination of both. Electrolysis is also applied, but it is not as popular compared to laser treatment that is widely used in the modern days. Electrolysis makes use of brief pulses of laser light to damage the tiny blood vessels. Wide ranges of lasers are used, but the pulsed dye laser is the best option for thin red vein located near the skin surface. The veins that are more than four millimetres are required to be treated by sclerotherapy. This is a treatment that makes use of tiny needle to inject the solution that causes microscopic damage to those cells lining the thread veins. This makes the vein to shrink gradually and disappear over a period of two months. On average you are supposed to get three treatments for the veins to disappear, but this depends on the location, size and number of veins.
Does the treatment cause pain?
The treatment should not be painful. Despite that laser leads to destruction of tissue by heat, you do not feel any pain or burning. The laser works on the veins that are unwanted leaving the skin untouched. A local anaesthetic cream can be applied if you want to.
Side effects involved
When sclerotherapy is used, the vein might appear worse instantly after the treatment. The site that is injected can appear like insect bites. There can also be some bruising and in some cases the treated part might itch. After one week the veins will start to fade and will do so up to two months or longer if the veins are bigger.