Thread veins or spider veins are bluish or red colored veins under the skin that are typically found in the legs or face. It’s a common condition that affects millions of people around the globe. Although, thread veins are usually harmless, many people who have this condition want it removed due to cosmetic concerns. If you have thread veins and want to know the right treatment for it, this chapter is for you.
Difference between varicose veins and thread veins
Varicose veins are veins that have stretched with blood pooled. It usually occurs when the other valve isn’t working properly. Varicose veins are highly noticeable due to its thick appearance that bulge on the legs. Compared to thread veins that are just thin veins under the skin that usually has a blue color. Although thread veins can be a symptom of poor blood circulation, it’s typically harmless.
Treatments for thread veins
Sclerotherapy - Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment approach for thread veins. Because this procedure is minimally invasive, the client is allowed to go home right after the treatment. This procedure involves injection of a solution into the veins, which scars and closes the veins. In a few weeks, the veins will eventually fade.
Laser surgeries - Laser devices can also be used to treat thread veins. The laser sends strong bursts of light into the vein, which makes the veins fade and disappear. This is a non-invasive procedure that doesn’t require any incision or use of injection.
Ambulatory phlebectomy - This procedure is performed for clients with small veins. It involves removing the veins through a series of tiny skin punctures. Ambulatory phlebectomy is an outpatient procedure, where only some parts of the leg that are punctured are numbed.
Catheter-assisted procedures - Thread veins can also be treated using catheter-assisted procedures in combination with radiofrequency or laser energy. The procedure begins with the doctor inserting a catheter into the veins, where the tip of the catheter is heated using either radiofrequency or laser energy. As the catheter is pulled out, the veins collapse and sealed shut by heat. This approach is usually performed for larger veins.
Veinwave - Veinwave is a fast and painless treatment option for thread veins. It does cause redness on the nose, but the redness shortly fades few hours after the procedure. Dr. Newman’s Clinics are the only provider of this treatment. The clinic had already received 2000 patients who had undergone Veinwave, and which about 2/3 had tried other nose vein removal options, but failed to achieve good results.
Foam Sclerotherapy - Foam Sclerotherapy is applied to larger veins. A foam solution is injected into the veins, which closes and seals it.
Causes of thread veins
There are many causes of thread vein formation. Veins on different parts of the body can turn more apparent due to the following causes:
- Excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect blood circulation in the body, resulting in thread veins.
- Pregnancy may cause increased pressure on venules, which can result in enlarged veins.
- As people age, the veins may start to become weaker, which causes problem in blood circulation.
- People who are frequently standing or sitting for long hours may develop thread veins. Inadequate exercise also prevents good blood circulation, which can cause increased pressure in the leg veins, resulting to larger veins.
- Habitual or frequent use of drugs with corticosteroid many thin out and weaken the skin.
- Scleroderma is a chronic disease of the connective tissues, which can harden and contract the skin, resulting in formation of thread veins.
- Dermatomyositis is a rare inflammatory disease that may include skin rash, muscle weakness or inflamed muscles. With inflamed skin and muscle tissues, thread veins can develop.
Self-care to ease thread veins
- Use a pantyhose or compression stockings
Wearing pantyhose or leg compressions helps the veins and leg muscles transport blood easier and more efficiently. Wearing leg compressions is the first approach when treating varicose veins, as the compression squeezes the legs, which can ease or prevent the varicose veins from getting worse.
- Take Horse Chestnut Seed Extract
This natural extract can reduce the dilation of veins. You can buy products like these online.
- Apply Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is widely available, which you can also find in drugstores near you. It has a "hose effect with the little film of chemical to squeeze the skin and relieve pain," according to Dr. Martin
- Gingko Biloba
This herb strengthens the tissues that form the vein walls. It also enhances tissue oxidation, as well as supports good blood circulation. To treat thread veins, gingko biloba extract is taken orally three times a day until the thread veins fade.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a popular treatment for thread veins. By applying apple cider veins as a compress to the affected area, it increases the circulation of blood in the veins.
- Prevention through self-care
You can prevent varicose veins from getting worse through exercise, diet, losing weight and by avoiding wearing tight clothes. You can also elevate the legs regularly, and avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.
More ways to prevent the formation of thread veins
Prevention is always better than cure. You don’t have to wait for the thread veins to appear before you do something about it. You can already perform ways before the veins even appear. You can reduce your chances of developing thread veins even if it runs in your genes. Here are what you can to prevent formation of thread veins in the future:
Regular exercise is the best way to prevent thread veins from forming. Workout can improve blood circulation, which helps the veins work properly and keeps it healthy.
Maintain a healthy weight
Gaining weight can cause an increased pressure on the legs.
Do not sit or stand for a long time
Make sure not to sit or stand for a long time, as it can put pressure in the legs and veins.
Elevate your legs
Elevate your legs every time you get a chance such as, as soon as you get home or during your break. It reduces the weight and pressure on the legs, preventing thread vein formation.
Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight
Avoid wearing leggings, jeans, or any clothing that is too tight-fitting around the waist, groin or legs.