Leg thread veins occur when a valve inside a vein stops working properly. Our veins carry blood to the heart and to stop blood flowing backwards, veins have a one-way valve that closes once the blood has passed through. If the valve is damaged or weakened, it could mean that the blood struggles to flow in the correct direction which then causes a small pool inside the vein. This causes the vein to branch out causing the thread vein.
Many people who suffer from leg thread veins will find it is genetic. This condition is also found more commonly in women than in men. Also as we age, valves become weaker, so we are more likely to develop leg thread veins. Being overweight can also be a cause, as extra pressure is placed on the legs. Pregnancy can also be a cause due to increased blood moving through the body as well as the extra weight placed on the legs. Also if you sit or stand for extended periods, your heart has to work harder to pump blood in the right direction. Hormones can also have an effect, for example, birth control, as well as menopause, can be a cause, as estrogen can weaken vein valves.
There are two effective treatment options for leg thread veins. A popular treatment is the use of laser. This will break down unwanted veins using brief pulses of laser light. The light heats up the veins very quickly causing them to collapse in on themselves. The process is called photothermolysis. A more traditional and proven treatment is sclerotherapy. This involves the injection of a solution into the vein that results in microscopic damage to the cells causing the vein to close which is then dispersed through the body’s natural immune system.
A combination of both treatments may be advised depending on the nature of your leg thread veins. In your consultation, the best treatment for you will be discussed and agreed. Laser treatment is best for smaller thread veins, whereas sclerotherapy is often used for larger thread veins and also for people with darker skin tones, for whom laser treatments may not be advised.
Depending on the size and number of thread veins, this will differ. We often find that some clients see results after one treatment, whereas others will need a course of three to see optimum results. Treatments are carried out at 4-week internals, so plan for the treatment to take around three months.