Thread Veins (Previously Dermal Flares)
What are Thread veins?
Thread veins, also known as Spider veins, are very fine dilated veins situated just beneath the surface of the skin.
What causes them?
In some patients they are related to varicose veins and a high underlying venous pressure and in other patients they are not related to any underlying problem and are simply related to fine and translucent skin.
Can they be painful?
Thread veins can be associated with pain; the pain is often cyclical in women and related to periods.
How do I get Thread Veins treated?
Firstly it is important to exclude any underlying cause, this is done using a simple non-invasive test which measures the flow of blood in the vein. If the blood flows in the wrong direction because the underlying valves are damaged, this results in higher pressure, which can lead to the development of surface veins. It is important to exclude an underlying cause as this affects the treatment. Treating the surface veins in the presence of underlying vein problems results in them returning quite quickly. If you do have a problem with the underlying veins then you should receive treatment first to ensure you get the best possible result following the treatment to your surface veins.
What treatments are available for surface veins?
There are several forms of treatment available including electrolysis, the laser and microsclerotherapy.
Which form of treatment is best?
We will advise you on the right form of treatment following the results of your scan. The most common form of treatment is microsclerotherapy, with laser treatment being reserved for specific problems, such as when the small vessels run together.
What is microsclerotherapy?
Microsclerotherapy involves an injection using a very fine needle, the needle is almost invisible and is connected to a fine flexible tube. The needle is inserted into one of the thread veins and an injection of a sclerosant solution is given. The sclerosant solution is introduced into the cutaneous veins and expels blood from these veins. It does not enter your circulation but remains in the surface veins and having expelled the blood, the veins start to disappear. The sclerosant solution sticks the vein walls together so that blood cannot return, the vein walls are weakened and damaged by the injection process and are slowly removed by the body’s natural defence mechanisms over a period of a few months. The results can, in many cases, be instant however in other patients it can take up to 3 months for the veins to clear. Some patients experience the blood slowly leaking back into the veins which will make them visible again, in the event of this happening we will advise you on the best course of action.
How often do I need to have this done?
The number of injections per session will depend on how extensive your veins are and the amount of sclerosant solution that can be injected into you during one session. A session usually last between 20 and 30 minutes, the frequency of the sessions will depend on how effective the clearance has been. We usually reinject at two to three week intervals, although it is possible to compress the treatment into a shorter period of time. The number of sessions will depend on how extensive your thread veins are and treatment continues until you are entirely satisfied.
Do Thread Veins return?
If the thread veins are associated with an underlying venous disease then once this has been treated successfully and you receive treatment for the flares, the chances of them recurring are extremely low. In cases where there is no underlying venous disease the thread veins will return after treatment over a period of years. It may then be necessary for you to undergo a further session of injections at some stage in the future. The frequency is variable and related to the severity of the case, it is possible to repeat the treatments as often as necessary to achieve a very good result.
Will all the flares disappear?
It is possible to remove all the thread veins, but this may involve more than one session and we will only end the treatment when the patient is entirely satisfied.
Is the treatment always successful?
With the majority of patients the treatment is highly successful and an excellent result is achieved, however, in some cases, we can produce a very good improvement but will never achieve a perfect result. Very occasionally there are some instances where only a small improvement is made.
Is the treatment safe?
We have now treated in excess of one hundred thousand patients without a problem. It is possible to get a blister at the site of injection, but this usually clears without any further problems. The treatment is not associated with any long term or permanent staining.
Who does the treatment?
The treatments are all carried out by properly trained nurses who have been trained by us on a year long intensive training program. They are supervised by experienced medial practitioners who are ultimately responsible for the treatment.