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Thread veins are dilated tiny blood vessels found just underneath the skin’s surface. Almost every woman makes thread veins throughout her life but some women make more thread veins than others. Thread veins may be present as well as larger varicose veins, or they can be present in isolation. The best way to treat thread veins is by injection sclerotherapy. This technique requires a very tiny needle to be inserted into the very tiny vein and inject it with a chemical called a sclerosant. This is a chemical which damages the inside of the vein and makes it block up. Initially, the vein looks quite bruised but eventually, it will fade and disappear. After treatment, we recommend wearing compression stockings for a week or two.
The number of sclerotherapy treatments needed will depend on how many thread veins you have. Most patients will have between 2 and 4 treatments, each lasting about 60 minutes. The treatment is not painful as the injections are made using a very tiny needle and most patients barely feel it. The nearest comparison is to acupuncture. Sometimes an itchy sensation can be felt immediately after treatment and some tenderness for a day or two. If necessary an anti-inflammatory cream can be used.
It is a very simple walk-in walk-out procedure with very few risks attached to it. Occasionally little blisters can occur on the skin after the injections which then scab over like a tiny sore before healing up. The bruising is significant and can last for 2 to 3 months after treatment. For this reason, we recommend that patients do not have sclerotherapy immediately before a holiday. Arnica cream and Vitamin E Oil can be used on the bruises to promote quicker healing.
For those who are not comfortable with needles, there is the option of using IPL for skin rejuvenation. This is also the preferred method for really tiny red veins which are too small to receive a needle.