Thread Veins

What are thread veins ?
Thread veins are purple coloured prominent veins in the skin seen most commonly in the legs. They are harmless but are sometimes uncomfortable and may be very unsightly. They can be very easily treated by sclerotherapy (injection). This is done under bright light and low magnification using tiny needles which are barely felt.

Investigation of thread veins
Before treating thread veins it is necessary to make sure there is no underlying problem affecting the major veins in the leg. A duplex scan (doppler-ultrasound) is usually arranged for this. If a larger vein is malfunctioning, this should be corrected before embarking on treatment of thread veins. These techniques are explained in the Services and Treatments section of the website (see Laser treatment of varicose veins for varicose veins).

Sclerotherapy (injections) for thread veins
Microinjections of thread veins are not painful, the injections are barely felt. The technique works by sticking the walls of the veins together thus obliterating them. The compression applied after the injection is an important part of the treatment. This takes the form of an elastic stocking or tubigrip which is worn for 48 to 72 hours, or longer for larger or more extensive veins.

The cosmetic results of microsclerotherapy for thread veins are usually very good. However some patients may react to the injection and develop an ulcer or scab at the sight of the injection. This is uncommon, but a test injection is always performed before treating larger areas.

Milder skin reactions may also be seen. These take the form of brown staining of the skin at the sight of the injection.