One of the problems that people frequently come to us about is facial thread veins. If you have them, you may feel that they are ageing your appearance or giving you an uneven complexion that makes your skin look less healthy than it could.

In this week’s blog, we’re talking all things facial thread veins, what causes them and how to get rid of them:


What are facial thread veins?

Facial thread veins, like thread veins you might find elsewhere on your body, are tiny blood vessels which sit close to the surface of the skin and look like fine red or purple wiggly lines. The medical name for thread veins is telangiectasia, but you may also hear people refer to them as ‘spider veins’ or ‘broken veins’, although they’re actually enlarged rather than broken.


What causes thread veins?

Unfortunately, whether or not you develop facial thread veins seems to be something of a lottery based on genetics and gender. Other factors can affect thread veins too. They are more common as our skin ages because the blood vessels lose their elasticity and become more prone to enlarging.

Sun damage and exposure to wind or extreme temperatures can also cause thread veins, as can some cortico-steroid medicines and radiotherapy. If you have thread veins in your legs, a job that has you on your feet all day can make the problem worse.

Certainly, the biggest factors seem to be genetics – if one of your parents has threads veins, you’re more likely to get them too – and hormones. Far more women than men experience thread veins, probably due to hormonal changes, particularly in oestrogen levels, during pregnancy and the menopause.


How likely is it that you’ll get thread veins?

Figures would suggest that one in five women in their 20s already have thread veins; by the time you reach your 40s, you have a 50/50 chance of developing them and this likelihood continues to increase with age. Seventy percent of women have some thread veins by the time they reach 70.


When is the best time to seek treatment?

Smaller veins are easier to treat than larger, much more established facial thread veins. Therefore, it’s recommended that you seek advice as soon as your begin to notice thread veins.


How can facial thread veins be treated?

The most effective treatment options for facial thread veins tends to be laser therapy and/or sclerotherapy. Here at the Private Skin Laser Clinic, we treat people with facial thread veins in London using Cynosure’s pulse dye laser. This uses heat to breakdown the enlarged veins so that they breakdown and are reabsorbed by your body.


Is laser treatment for facial thread veins painful?

Most people describe the pulse of the laser as feeling like the snap of a rubber band against the skin. We may ask you to come into the clinic an hour before your treatment to have a numbing cream applied, which makes the treatment more comfortable.


How successful is laser therapy for treatment facial thread veins?

It’s important to have realistic expectations as you may several treatments or 100% clearance may not be possible because of where the thread veins are positioned or their size. Thread veins can run up and down, with some points of the vein being closer to the surface than others.

Laser therapy is particularly effective for facial thread veins because they tend to be smaller and near the surface of the skin. If you have facial thread veins as a symptom of rosacea, this treatment can dramatically improve the redness of your skin.


Can anyone carry out laser treatments on thread veins?

Although laser treatment is widely available, it is not currently regulated beyond certain minimum requirements that practitioners need to meet. We would always recommend seeking treatment from a skilled and experienced cosmetic medical doctor.

One of the reasons that the Private Laser Skin Clinic is so popular for treating facial thread veins in London is that we are based in the Dermatology department of the Royal Free Hospital and provide a doctor-led team.


If you would like to know more about treatments for facial thread veins in London at The Private Laser Skin Clinic, book a consultation today by calling 0207 435 7521.