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Spider Veins




Thread or Spider veins are small, thin red or blue veins or vessels that lie just under the skin’s surface.

Spider veins (also called telangectasias) are small superficial blood vessels. Spider veins, which get their name because of their similarity in appearance to that of a spider, are most commonly seen on the surface of the thighs, calves and ankles. These small veins are usually red, blue or purple in color. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are smaller and closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Spider veins tend to be multiple and grow larger over time.

Thread veins are caused by: excess sun exposure, pregnancy, aging, oestrogen, hereditary factors. It is possible for thyroid disorders to cause thread veins.

On the face they are referred to as facial telangiectasia.

How do Spider Veins manifest?
Spider veins can cause the same symptoms as much larger varicose veins including itching, burning, heaviness, and fatigue in the legs.

Many vein clinics offer the various kind of spider vein treatment such as sclerotherapy, vein stripping, and spider vein laser treatment.

Causes of Spider Veins
Spider veins are caused by similar factors that cause varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency. A number of different factors cause development of spider veins, including pregnancy, heredity and other events that cause hormonal shifts (such as those during pregnancy or menopause).

During pregnancy fluctuations in the female sex hormone (especially estrogen and progesterone), cause softening of the vein walls and valves. This makes women’s veins more prone to stretching and enlargement with increased pressure.

Sunburns to your legs are known to be followed by the development of spider veins.

Weight gain, occupations or activities that require prolonged standing or sitting, and the use of some medications also contribute to spider veins. Prolonged periods of sitting with legs crossed at the knee are one of the most common causes of spider veins in the legs. Pressure on the veins can cause the walls of veins to weaken and create spider veins.

It is recommended to change positions regularly to keep blood circulating and sit with legs crossed at the ankles rather than the knee.

Spider vein treatment
is relatively simple procedure through the use of sclerosants for the larger veins and laser treatment of the smaller vessels. If you would like to minimize the number of treatments, than wearing of Compressive garments is necessary.

Treatment options include:

  • Avoid standing for too long – increase your blood circulation

  • Reduce your intake of alcohol

  • IPL (variation of laser) are effective as the veins are close to the skin’s surface.


How does the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) system work?
Laser equipmentIPL Skin Rejuvenation therapy helps stimulate your skin's collagen production by deconstructing underlying blood vessels using lasers, helping to 'plump up' the skin and minimise the appearance of fine lines. Intense Pulsed Light systems release precisely controlled short pulses of filtered light that stimulate the fibroblast cells within the skin that produce collagen and elastin.

The light emitted from the IPL system delivers a special range of wavelengths of light in customizable pulses through a sapphire tip gently onto your skin. The light is absorbed either superficially by broken capillaries and dark pigment or deeper by larger vessels and collagen. Dilated capillaries coagulate, pigmented lesions darken and then slough off and new collagen fibres are laid down, giving the skin a renewed and more youthful appearance.system.

Generally patients will need to undergo a series of IPL treatments to achieve the desired effect. Clinical studies suggest that for most people, maximum results are realized in just 3 – 5 sessions, which are usually spaced 2 – 6 weeks apart.

What happens before your IPL treatment?
Your skin will be properly prepared for the treatment. This may include application of lighting cream and sunscreen for dark skinned or tanned patients: this is a precaution to ensure that the laser is not absorbed by the tan.

Similarly microdermabrasion treatment can be conducted to prepare the skin for the IPL treatment. Microdermabrasion uses a highly controlled flow of fine, medical grade crystals to remove the dead, outermost layer of skin. This skin exfoliation process reveals the new, living skin cells that are soft, smooth and receptive to nutrients.This treatment would need to be performed a few days prior to your IPL treatment.

If necessary a topical anaesthetic cream can be applied to relieve any discomfort.

What happens during your IPL treatment?
Patients are generally required to wear protective goggles. The light applicator is placed onto the skin and a short pulse of light is released. The hand piece is then moved to the adjacent area and the process is repeated until the entire area is treated. During the treatment the patient may feel a snapping or skin-pricking sensation which provides minimal discomfort.

Depending on the area being treated the IPL treatment usually can last from 30 minutes (hand) to up to an hour (face).
What happens after your skin rejuvenation treatment?
Your skin may be cooled or soothed immediately after the IPL treatment. Depending on your particular condition and the specifics of the IPL treatment there may be some darkening of the treated area, redness, and in very rare cases, crusting or weeping. Generally any such effect is very temporary and will disappear after 2-4 days. Patients can return to work immediately although some patients may decide to apply some form of camouflage make-up to hide any temporary discoloration: it is not possible to apply standard make-up immediately after the treatment.

You may be provided with non-stick dressing and anti-biotic creams to be used for up to a week after your treatment.

What are some of the Potential Complications?

IPL treatments can leave skin blisters or burns. While this is very rare, it may lead to mild scarring and changes in skin colour or pigment. When you have laser treatment around your eyes, you will experience temporary eyelid swelling.

IPL rejuvenation treatments may not be advised for darker skin tones. It is not advisable to take  IPL treatment if you are prone to scarring or have a history of light sensitivity that causes a rash or other reaction and specially if there is some skin infection or lesion at the site of planned treatment.

How often would I require treatment?
Initial treatment may require four or five sessions over a few weeks to achieve the level of improvement you desire. Afterwards, you can get treated every six months for maintenance, as required.

Are Laser treatments painful?

Depending on the type of device used and the brand, you may experience mild stinging or burning during the procedure. The area treated may also feel hot for about 15 minutes or so after treatment.

After laser treatment, can you go out into the sun again?

You can still go out in the sun, but you should protect yourself by using a high-factor sunscreen (minimum 30+ SPF), regardless of what season it is. Wearing an appropriate sunscreen is always recommended for everyone for summer months when you spend the most time outdoors.