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Thread veins, also called spider or broken veins are usually present very near to the surface of the skin. They are red, blue, or purple in colour, and are less than 1mm to 2 mm in diameter, unlike much larger, deeper varicose veins. They are not regarded as a serious medical condition but they can occasionally ache depending on their location.
Anyone can suffer with thread veins, and they can appear on any part of the body. Although harmless, they can cause distress as the sufferer often feels self-conscious, particularly if the veins are on an exposed part of the body, such as the legs or face, which people can see.
A variety of options, including using heat generating technologies such as light and electrical currents have been developed to treat thread veins, along with the refinement of techniques originally designed for treating larger vascular problems.
Laser and light technologies have been developed to treat people with a variety of different skin problems including pigmented (skin colour, birthmark) and vascular (vein) problems.
The use of high frequency microwave energy has become available in the UK for the treatment of thread veins and other skin lesions through thermocoagulation. An example of this is Veinwave or Thermavein.
Radiofrequency or radiowave surgery can be used in Dermatology and Cosmetic Medicine for minor surgical procedures such as removing thread veins, warts, growths, birthmarks and moles.
Sclerotherapy was developed for treating varicose veins. Microsclerotherapy is a technique of injecting thread veins with a sclerosant that causes swelling in the vein’s wall which destroys it.