Thread Vein Removal

About Thread Veins

Medically reviewed by The Harley Medical Group Clinical Governance Board, Chaired by Simon Smith (Medical Director & Consultant Surgeon) on 6th March 2020.

Thread veins are extremely common and completely harmless but frequently embarrassing. They are tiny twisted red blood vessels that run close to the surface of the skin making them visible. Also known as spider veins due to their cobweb like appearance, as well as broken veins; however the veins are not actually broken, only slightly enlarged, known medically as telangiectasia. The most common areas of the body to experience thread veins is on the face and legs.

While both men and women can be affected by thread veins they are far more prevalent in women.  By their 40s nearly half of all women will be affected, and they become increasingly more common  as we age.  

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Thread Vein Removal

I was made to feel very comfortable and everything was explained to me every step of the way. I am very satisfied with the [thread vein] treatment 

Anne, Manchester Clinic

Thread Vein Removal Treatment

Lasers and IPL is a non-invasive treatment can be used to remove thread veins on the face, body and legs quickly and effectively. Thread vein removal treatment will remove fine and large thread veins approximately 1-3 mm in size.   

How Are Thread Veins Removed

  1. The laser light passes safely through the skin which is readily absorbed by blood vessels, but not by the surrounding skin, heating them to point where the blood in the targeted blood vessel coagulates. 
  2. This causes the vein to break down. The damaged veins are gradually dissolved and removed by the body’s immune system, fading over several weeks after treatment leaving little or no trace of the original lesion.

Two or three sessions is usually all that is needed to leave your skin feeling smooth and blemish-free, however we recommend on average 5 treatments to ensure the best results for you. 

Causes of Thread Veins

Healthy veins carry blood to the heart through a serious of one-way valves; the valves ensure the blood flows in the right direction i.e. from superficial veins to deeper veins and on to the heart. However, defective valves allow blood to flow backward and pool inside the vein, which results in a build of pressure and a weakening of the vessel wall. The vein then bulges and twists; depending on the size of the blood vessel and extent of swelling the result is either a thread vein or varicose vein. 

Causes associated with thread veins:

  • Changes in environmental temperature
  • Smoking
  • Hormonal changes, e.g. pregnancy 
  • Alcohol
  • Localised trauma to an area
  • Genetic disposition
  • Ageing
  • Obesity
  • Prolonged standing, i.e. people who have jobs that keep them on their feet. e.g. nurses. 


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Benefits of Thread Vein Removal

Many of the benefits experienced from thread vein removal and vary from client to clinet, however the most common are:

  • Improved self-confidence
  • Confidence to wear a wider variety of clothes
  • One of the fastest treatments - many clients are treated during their lunch break
  • No downtime - you can carry on with your daily activities
  • Non-invasive treatment
  • More effective than other methods.


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Following your thread vein removal treatment

Laser thread vein removal does not have any downtime, however as with all treatment we recommend that you take care of the treated area for at least 24hours following your treatment. 

  • There may be some localised redness, swelling and mild itchiness following your treatment, which normally subsides within 24-48 hours.
  • If you experience a slight redness and warmth on the skin use a soothing aloe vera gel on the affected area.
  • Avoid creams, oils, irritants, and perfumed products for 2 days.
  • Avoid extremes of hot or cold - including baths - for a few days.
  • Use an SPF on the treated area immediately following laser treatment as the skin may be a little more sensitive to UV light

Please be aware that in some instances the veins may initially appear worse before they improve. 

If you have any concerns or further questions related to Sclerotheraphy treatment, please feel free to contact your clinic.


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Is thread vein removal permanent?

How long thread vein removal treatment lasts varies from person to person.

In most cases the same veins will not reoccur, but new veins can appear in other areas of your body which might require treatment.

For lasers and IPL (Intense Pulse Light) treatments, we normally recommend on average 5 sessions to leave your skin feeling smooth and blemish-free.

Does thread vein removal hurt?

Thread vein removal is an uncomfortable treatment, however most of our clients find the discomfortable completely bearable.

If you find thread vein removal too uncomfortable tell you practition who will either give you a comfort break or apply a numbing cream to the treated area. 

Can thread veins be prevented?


Ageing and genetic disposition may mean that thread veins cannot be prevented however, there are actions you can take to reduce the risk:

  • Getting plenty of exercise and keep leg muscles toned - so your blood will flow freely.
  • Keep your weight under control
  • If your job keeps you on your feet, stretch your leg muscles often to increase circulation.
  • If you're pregnant, try to sleep on your left side rather than your back.

Does thread vein removal have any downtime?

There is no downtime with laser thread vein removal and makeup can be applied immediately following your treatment.