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Thread veins are small and abnormally dilated blood vessels that are often found on the legs. The presence of these veins can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction with your appearance and cause serious knock-on effects when it comes to levels of self-confidence. 

The cause of thread veins is unknown, but:

  • They are usually inherited
  • Hormonal changes can increase their likelihood
  • Trauma to the legs can cause thread veins
  • Standing occupations can make them more likely
  • They become more prominent and numerous with age

While many people seek thread vein treatment for personal, cosmetic reasons, it is not uncommon for people to seek treatment for reasons of discomfort. Untreated thread veins can lead to further problems regarding mobility and general discomfort. 

The procedure itself is called Sclerotherapy and is a common technique used to treat thread veins. This procedure is straightforward, which involves injecting a solution called sclerosant into the veins, destroying them and ultimately causing them to completely disappear over time.  

A compression (stockings or a tight bandage) will then be applied to close the veins. Depending on the size of the veins requiring treatment, you should expect to wear the compression for around 2-3 days. Over this time, the veins will heal and be absorbed into your body, naturally fading away. 

The benefits of having thread vein removal surgery vary for both cosmetic advantages and alleviating physical discomfort in some rare cases. The three main advantages patients come away with are: 

  • Boosting self-confidence 
  • Removing or reducing the visibility of thread veins 
  • Helping to restore a more youthful appearance 

Thread veins can be recognised by their red, blue and/or purple appearance and are commonly found near the surface of the skin, predominantly on the thighs, calves and ankles. 

If you feel you feel the veins are now a cosmetic concern (loss of confidence, etc) you may want to seek further advice. Sometimes thread veins can cause some mild discomfort but usually there are no symptoms. If you have thread veins you should also be tested for varicose veins as treatment will be much more effective when the varicose vein is removed.

Patients usually see an improvement within 2-3 months of their first treatment, although results will vary from one patient to the next. In some patients, the veins will disappear completely, others will fade away more slowly.

Therefore, two sessions of treatment are recommended. Following the second course of treatment, a 70-80% improvement in appearance is to be expected. 

In the majority of cases, thread veins will not reappear after treatment. However, there is a possibility that some will return which require further treatment.  

As with all procedures, there are always complications to consider. However, thread vein treatment is common and falls within the less invasive surgical procedure category. Some of the complications of thread vein removal include: 

  • Swelling 
  • Reddening of the skin 
  • Bruising 

 These can either be caused by minor or major varicose veins, very often not visible from the surface, but can be found with an ultrasound scan of the legs. These underlying varicose veins are most likely the cause of any aching, itchiness, a feeling of heaviness in the leg and night cramps. In case of underlying varicose veins, these will need to be treated before addressing any residual thread veins. 


Guide prices are available here. Everyone's treatment plant is tailored to their own individual needs. For more information, we would be delighted if you wanted to arrange a consultation with us. You can call the Helpline for free and professional advice on 0800 917 4922. 

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