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Facial vein treatment – Frequently asked questions

This is our frequently asked questions page, explaining all about thread veins (spider veins) on the face and treatment via the process of thermo-coagulation. To find out more about Sarah’s specific approach you may wish to visit our treatment page.

What are thread veins?

Thread veins, also known as spider veins (or telangiectasia to give them their medical name) are thin veins, close to the surface of the skin, which have become enlarged, and hence visible and unsightly.

What causes them?

There is no single cause for thread veins, which perhaps explains why they are so common. There are, however, two common risk factors – firstly sun exposure, and secondly having oily skin. Both of these risk factors can be controlled – preventative medicine is an important aspect of all that we do. I would encourage anyone with concerns about facial veins to use a broad-spectrum sun protection 365 days a year, even indoors. To reduce the oiliness of your skin you will find the advice on looking after acne skin types helpful.

Thread veins tend to develop more with increasing age, and can often be associated with hormonal changes (which is why women can be more prone to them than men). It is thought that there is a hereditary tendency towards thread veins. Other environmental factors such as exposure to extreme wind or temperatures, and certain medications are all thought to contribute/aggravate the condition. They are also associated with rosacea.

Are they dangerous?

Thread veins are not dangerous but they can become more prominent and cause greater cosmetic concern over time.

When should they be treated?

Ideally thread veins should be treated as soon as possible, as they have the potential to develop further, and become more difficult to treat in time.

What is Thermo-coagulation?

Thermo-coagulation is a process whereby a small burst of energy is delivered, through an insulated needle, directly into the vein.  The heat from this energy causes the blood in the vein to coagulate (solidify), which in turn causes the vein to collapse, as shown in the graphic below.  The tiny collapsed vein is then absorbed by the body, with no after effect.  Unlike other treatments, the procedure targets the individual veins themselves, rather than the surrounding area.

Is it safe?

Yes – ThermaVein (also known as Veinwave) treatments have been safely performed thousands of times, all over the world. Unlike laser or IPL, it targets only the specific veins, rather than generalised areas, meaning there is minimal risk of damaging neighbouring tissue.

Is it painful?

There is a stinging sensation, not unlike a hair being plucked, though how noticeable this is will depend on the individual patient, and the area being treated. Anaesthetic creams are not to be used, but there is no restriction on the use of simple painkillers (such as paracetamol).

What are the after-effects?

There will be initial redness in the treated area, but this should quickly fade on the day of treatment. On the second day, very small scabs might develop at the points of contact, but these would typically resolve within a matter of days, generally up to a week at most. A concealer can be used on the scabs from the day after treatment if required.

What aftercare is required?

Aftercare is minimal. You will be supplied with a calming cream to apply during the first day or two. Some patients find the cooling effect of aloe vera gel to be also beneficial in the days following treatment. Use of a broad-spectrum sun cream is obligatory.

Is there anyone who should not undergo ThermaVein/Veinwave treatment?

It is not advised for pregnant women or those who suffer from epilepsy or have a pacemaker.

How many treatments are necessary?

In many cases, one treatment would be sufficient. In more severe cases a second (and even third) treatment may be necessary, but this would be assessed at your routine follow-up appointment, approximately four weeks later. Although the vein is permanently destroyed, over time new veins can develop, which would need treating when necessary.

How long does the treatment session last?

It is not recommended for any treatment session to persist beyond fifteen minutes, as extended treatment would run the risk of causing trauma to the skin.

How does it compare to other treatments for thread vein removal?
How much does it cost?

If you are interested in thread vein treatment we will ask you for photographs to assess suitability for treatment. If treatment is deemed appropriate, and you wish to proceed, this is offered by Dr Sarah Norman at £275. You will be given a 25-minute appointment in total, which will include up to 15 minutes of thermo-coagulation treatment.

Many patients follow their treatment with Dermalux LED light therapy, the cost of which is £25 (as opposed to the normal £40) for a 30 minute session. This will not only reduce the downtime (redness and healing time) but also provide antiageing/ general skin benefits.

Arrange your FREE, no-obligation consultation…

If you are interested in our services and would like to know more, simply contact our admin team on 0161 928 2210 to arrange your free, no-obligation consultation with Sarah. Alternatively, email [email protected], and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.