At Ramsay, we offer a range of treatment options for thread (spider) veins. Your consultant will advise on the best option for your individual needs.
Short wave diathermy, laser or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) are all effective treatments for facial thread (spider) veins depending on their size. Short wave diathermy is very effective for spider veins (spider naevi) and the larger facial thread veins due to aging and sun exposure whereas laser and IPL are best for the tiny diffuse veins such as seen in patients with Rosacea.
We offer convenient appointments for consultation and treatment of your thread (spider) veins so you can have them removed without waiting. This treatment is not available on the NHS for cosmetic reasons. Ramsay offers thread (spider) vein treatment for both cosmetic and medical reasons. For thread veins due to a condition such as Rosacea it is always best to consult with a dermatologist before undergoing any treatment.
Our qualified doctors are highly experienced in performing thread (spider) vein removal procedures so you can rest assured you’re in safe and reliable hands.
Spider veins, also known as thread veins, or by the medical term Telangiectasia, are small, twisted blood vessels that appear in a spiderweb pattern through your skin often on your legs or face.
They are similar to varicose veins but smaller and caused in the same way when a one-way valve in your vein, that help your blood flow back to your heart, stops working properly and your vein swells as blood flows the wrong way.
Spider Veins on the nose and cheeks are common and may cause considerable embarrassment. The medical term for spider veins on the nose and cheeks is facial telangiectasia. These are small blood vessels in the skin typically measuring less than 1 mm. They are very common, and they are unsightly and disfiguring.
They can be congenital, that is you may have been born with them or they may have developed over the course of many years. Although sun exposure is the main aggravating factor for their appearance, many patients do not have an obvious cause, and this is known as idiopathic facial telangiectasia. Other important causes for facial spider (thread) veins are liver disease, rosacea, smoking, use of steroid creams and alcohol.
Many people who have an out-door occupation such as farmers, window cleaners, gardeners or builders can get them because of sun exposure and ultraviolet damage to the skin. However, those with outdoor hobbies and those who take part in sport can also be affected, for example people who enjoy sailing, walking or hiking or those who take frequent holidays to the sun.
Fortunately, they can be treated very simply using a medical procedure called short wave diathermy. It is a little bit like electrolysis. The skin is numbed with local anaesthetic cream and a sterile single use needle is used to apply a precise medical electrical current to the blood vessel.
The electrical current cauterises the blood vessel and over the course of a few weeks it disperses. In general, the results are excellent. Unlike leg spider veins, there is no need for a duplex scan but after successful treatment, it is important to address any pre-disposing factors to minimise the risk of the spider veins reappearing. This usually means applying a good quality UV-protecting sun cream to reduce the damaging effects of ultraviolet light.
Laser and IPL therapy are non-invasive methods of treating spider veins that have a diameter of less than that of a 30-gauge needle. Laser therapy is delivered via a hand-held device and relies on the target heating up by absorbing energy from photons in the laser.
There is slightly more scarring and a higher recurrence than for thermocoagulation, but larger areas can be treated safely. A variety of different lasers are available for the treatment of spider veins, each with their advantages, drawbacks, and specific use.
The cost of spider vein treatment will depend on the treatment type you choose and the area being treated.
Your practitioner will advise you of the cost of treatment during your initial consultation.
You will be given aftercare advice following your spider vein treatment based on the exact treatment you have had.
After these outpatient treatments you can usually resume your normal daily activities immediately.
It is important to address any pre-disposing factors to minimise the risk of spider veins reappearing. This usually means applying a good quality UV-protecting sun cream to reduce the damaging effects of ultraviolet light.
Mr Robin Windhaber
Mr Robin Windhaber is a Consultant Vascular and Phlebologist Surgeon in Truro, Cornwall who specialises in the minimally invasive treatment of Varicose Veins.Read more
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