What options are available to treat Thread veins?
Thread veins are essentially an aesthetic problem. They are not dangerous and do not cause symptoms. They may however be a sign of deeper issues that can be managed to prevent worsening.
The first question to consider is whether they are of significant size. Small areas of thread-veins can be covered using camouflage creams. If the affected area(s) are larger or more troublesome, there are other options. If there are varicose veins associated then the results of treatment are better if these are dealt with first (see varicose veins). Once any associated varicose veins are dealt with they can be treated with microsclerotherapy or lasers.
Microsclerotherapy requires injections using a very fine needle into the thread veins themselves. The aim is to damage the small vessels so that no blood can flow through them.
Support stocking should normally be worn after the procedure as this helps the veins to seal off and also supports the circulation. Sometimes, a small area of brownish pigmentation can occur at the site of the injection, and very rarely patients can experience a little ulcer. Precautions are taken to avoid these outcomes, and a combination of wearing support and attending follow-up will minimise the potential for such problems.
Laser treatment is an alternative treatment but is considered by many to be less effective than microsclerotherapy. In a recent medical review in the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin (the Medical equivalent of Which), it was concluded that microsclerotherapy was more effective than lasers and that it should be used in preference for most people with thread veins on the leg although laser is better for thread veins on the face.
Lasers also have the disadvantage that people have to avoid sun exposure before and after treatment and occasionally produce permanent areas of whiteness in the skin.
Whatever method is used, treatment takes some time to achieve the maximum effect and for everything to settle down. It is not realistic to decide to get your thread veins treated a week before your summer holiday.