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Dear doctor, what can I do to get rid of my thread veins by next year?

27 November 2018

This summer I noticed patches of thread veins on my legs which made me feel really self-conscious wearing shorts. What can I do to get rid of them by next year?

Thread veins, also known as ‘spider veins’ or ‘broken veins’, are tiny visible veins which have a red (usually the smaller veins) or blue (larger veins) appearance. Known medically as telangiectasia, they can occur anywhere on the skin but most commonly the face and legs. They are only very rarely a marker of a medical condition and most cases cause cosmetic concern or only very mild symptoms.

Many people feel particularly self-conscious about thread veins during summertime, when they are wearing skirts and shorts more often. They can have a big impact on your confidence but getting rid of them can be a relatively straightforward procedure.

Thread veins on the legs can be easily treated with injections to seal them, provided there is no underlying varicose vein issue. The injections are given using an extremely tiny needle. Each treatment session lasts about 20 minutes and is only slightly uncomfortable. The successfully treated veins will turn brown before fading over a couple of months. An ultrasound scan will quickly show if there are hidden varicose veins which might be feeding thread veins. If found then treating these as well will improve results.

Thread veins are almost always benign and can be quickly diagnosed and easily treated. Unfortunately they may recur, but can similarly be re-treated. If you would like to know if your veins are suitable for treatment, please make an appointment with a vascular surgeon, who will assess your symptoms and discuss treatment options with you.

Find out more about Mr Simon Payne, Consultant General and Vascular Surgeon practising at Spire Portsmouth Hospital.

The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.

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