Thread veins are small blood vessels which, when dilated, become visible on the top layer of skin. Thanks to their leggy appearance, they are often called “spider veins”. They affect around 80% of adults and occur most commonly on the legs but can also appear on the face, chest or hands. Although generally considered a cosmetic problem, they can be itchy or unsightly, prompting many people to choose to have them removed.Thread veins occur when the one-way valves that allow blood to flow back up towards the heart become weakened and malfunction. This results in blood pooling in smaller non-functional veins. Causes include pregnancy, sitting/standing for long periods, obesity, hormone fluctuations, family history, age and underlying conditions. The face generally has a better blood supply than the legs, for this reason, the appearance of these type of veins on the face is often attributed to arterial pressure, hormonal factors or exposure to the elements.
The most common ways to treat thread veins are either by using medical grade lasers such as ND:Yag or IPL (intense pulsed light) or by injecting a substance directly into the vein, known as sclerotherapy. Both these methods are relatively painless with little or no downtime. Depending on the type of veins you have you should expect to need between 1 – 3 treatments, 3 weeks apart.
Recommended No. Of Treatments
What are thread veins, and why do they occur?
Thread veins, or spider veins, are small, dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin. They often occur due to factors such as genetics, sun exposure, aging, or hormonal changes.
How does ND:YAG laser treatment work for thread vein removal?
ND:YAG laser emits a specific wavelength of light that targets haemoglobin in the blood vessels. This light is absorbed, causing the blood vessels to coagulate and eventually be reabsorbed by the body.
Is ND:YAG laser treatment painful?
Patients may experience some discomfort, often described as a mild stinging sensation. However, most people tolerate the procedure well, and a topical aesthetic can be applied if needed.
How long does a typical ND:YAG laser session for thread vein removal take?
The duration varies depending on the size and number of thread veins being treated. Sessions usually range from 15 minutes to an hour.
Are there any side effects or downtime associated with ND:YAG laser treatment?
Common side effects include redness and swelling, which usually subside within a day or two. Some patients may experience bruising, but this is temporary. Most individuals can resume normal activities immediately.
How many sessions are typically required for optimal results?
The number of sessions varies based on the severity of the thread veins. Multiple sessions, spaced several weeks apart, are often recommended to achieve optimal results.
Can ND:YAG laser be used on all skin types?
Yes, ND:YAG laser is suitable for a wide range of skin types. It is known for its ability to penetrate deeper into the skin, making it effective for treating thread veins on individuals with darker skin tones.
Are the results of ND:YAG laser treatment permanent?
ND:YAG laser can significantly reduce or eliminate thread veins, but new ones may develop over time. Maintenance sessions may be recommended to address any new vessels that appear.
Who is a suitable candidate for ND:YAG laser thread vein removal?
Generally, individuals with thread veins who are in good overall health can consider ND:YAG laser treatment. A consultation with a qualified practitioner is essential to determine suitability.
Are there any pre or post-treatment care instructions for ND:YAG laser thread vein removal?
Before the treatment, it’s advisable to avoid sun exposure and certain skincare products. After the procedure, patients are usually instructed to avoid hot baths, vigorous exercise, and sun exposure for a few days. The specific instructions may vary, and they will be discussed during the consultation.
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