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Facial thread veins                     

                                          August 2010  


Facing up to thread veins

Thread veinsWe all need veins! These elastic vessels carry blood from all around our body back to the heart and help to keep us alive. They come in various sizes and while, in children, they are pretty invisible, as we age some begin to show, causing unsightly lines of blue and red on our skin. Large visible veins, especially in the legs, are called varicose veins while thread veins is the term usually given to the tiny veins especially in our cheeks and nose as well as our legs. Small thread veins are usually red rather than blueish, but are still usually very unwelcome, especially on the face.

There is no simple cause of thread veins on the face. They can be an inherited factor, over exposure to the sun can contribute to thread veins, diet and oestrogen treatment have also been named as causes. But a major problem is that as we age, our skin becomes thinner and loses some of its collagen. Without that extra flexibility, the little veins begin to show through the skin.

The easiest answer is to conceal the veins. Today there are many special concealers on the market for all skin tones that work well, but of course this is no good for men or women who don’t wear make up. Artificial suntan on the face can help to conceal thread veins.

However, there are also an increasing number of specialised non-surgical treatments for men and women available today that can help get rid of those unsightly veins.

Laser and high intensity light (IPL) treatments have been around for many years now and are accepted as sound ways of minimising facial thread veins. You do usually need several visits to the clinic or beauty salon, and the treatments can also be very expensive. They don’t work well on dark skin because the pigment in the skin blocks the laser or light beams. Also, some people say it can hurt quite a lot, albeit only for a second or two.

However, it does seem to work very successfully in many cases; the beams cause the blood within the veins to coagulate and the lining of the blood vessel degrades, causing the walls of the tiny vessels to stick together and seal themselves off. The vein is then gradually absorbed by the body and disappears and the blood flow is naturally diverted to veins deeper below the skin’s surface.

You may hear of another treatment for veins called micro-sclerotherapy, but this really is for thread veins on the legs. It involves injecting the veins with a chemical using tiny needles and again the result is to make the walls of the veins stick together.

Before the advent of laser and IPL treatments, electrolysis used to be very popular and today there are still many advocates of diathermy electrolysis. Here, a tiny current is applied just below the surface of the skin to cauterize the veins. The success rate is good and many clinics offer this treatment.

Whatever method you choose, there is a definite cost factor involved. It is very difficult to obtain treatment through the national health system because it is deemed to be cosmetic treatment. However, if your facial thread veins are very prominent and causing you real problems, it might be worth asking your doctor to see if they might refer you for treatment. But generally you will have to look for a private clinic and fund the treatment yourself.

Today there are clinics everywhere that can offer professional treatment for men and women. Do ask some questions first though about training, experience, the treatments available and of course the cost. Looking great has never been cheap!


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