What are Thread veins?
Thread veins are purple-coloured prominent veins in the skin seen mostly in the legs. They are harmless but are sometimes uncomfortable and may be very unsightly. They are also known as spider veins, capillary veins, or broken veins.
What part of the body do they affect?
Thread veins are most common on the legs but can appear anywhere on the body.
Thread veins are frequently associated with faulty veins inside the legs. It is important to check for this before embarking on treatment for the visible surface veins, or the treatment may not work, or might even make things worse.
A duplex scan (doppler-ultrasound) is the best way to assess leg veins.
The treatment of thread veins usually requires sclerotherapy (micro-injections). There are many varieties of sclerotherapy, but they all involve injecting a problem vein to make it shrivel up and disappear. Liquid sclerosant is used for the smallest veins while foam is better for larger veins. The injections may be done by direct (magnified) vision, via ultrasound or aided by augmented reality scanners.
Transdermal laser is also a useful and important method to achieve the best results for thread veins. Sometimes it is done in conjunction with sclerotherapy (a treatment called CLaCS) and sometimes it comes later to finesse the results achieved by prior injections.