Do creams work for leg thread veins?

Leg thread vein treatment

If you are encountering thread veins on the legs, finding a cream sounds like the ideal treatment.

However, while there are creams available on the market, it’s important to understand that there is unfortunately no scientific evidence to support the claims that any topical cream can effectively treat thread veins.

Therefore there is no definitive answer to the question of the “best” thread vein cream for legs.

In fact, many medical organisations, including the American Academy of Dermatology, warn against using these products, as they are often ineffective and may even irritate the skin.

The Standard recently investigated the options for leg vein creams and two experts stressed the limited benefit of applying any external creams in treatment of thread veins, as they’re unlikely to penetrate deeply enough to tackle the root cause of visible blood vessels.

Instead, the experts recommended professional treatments such as laser or sclerotherapy (injections) to destroy the veins causing them to collapse so that blood flows through deeper, healthier veins instead. They also advocated use of compression stockings to prevent veins from worsening.

Creams for thread veins

Thread vein cream ingredients

While acknowledging that a cream is not going to fix thread veins, the experts did suggest that they may be an option for use alongside professional treatment.

Key useful ingredients to look out for include Vitamin K or Arnica, a anti-inflammatory which may help prevent bruising and also reduce swelling and bruising post-procedure.

Alternatively, it has been suggested that horse chestnut may improve symptoms associated such as swelling, itching, and discomfort, although these symptoms tend to indicate more serious varicose veins rather than thread veins.

Thread vein products available

The feature in The Standard rounded up the latest offerings. Their list of suggestions included a tanning gel, supplements and a couple of creams intended for facial capillaries/spider veins.

  • Creams
    • Dr Organic Organic Royal Jelly Leg & Vein Cream – for soothing and moisturising the legs
    • Skin Doctors Capillary Clear – topical cream intended to reduce facial vein problems
    • 5Kind Varicose Veins Horse Chestnut Cream – horse chestnut, arnica, urea, and zinc oxide to combat itchiness and provide relief
    • Kräuterhof Red Vines Leaf And Horse Chestnut Foot Cream for Varicose Veins – horse chestnut-enriched cream
    • Pharmaceris N Capinon K 1% Vitamin K Face Cream – for facial veins
  • Supplements
    • Vegavero Organic Horse Chestnut Extract – a supplement designed to help circulation
    • Holland & Barrett Leg Vein Formula – vine leaf extract with vitamin C
    • New Nordic Wonder Legs Veins & Blood Vessels – supplement based on French maritime pine bark, red wine leaf and vitamin C
  • Self-tan
    • Tan-Luxe Instant Hero Illuminating Wash Off Tanning Gel – can disguise or conceal thread veins

Why a cream won’t get rid of thread veins

Here are some of the reasons why thread vein creams are not effective:

  • Thread veins are located deep within the skin.
    Topical creams cannot penetrate deeply enough to reach the blood vessels where thread veins form.
  • The active ingredients in thread vein creams are not strong enough.
    Even if a cream could reach the blood vessels, the ingredients are typically not strong enough to damage or shrink them.
  • Thread vein creams can irritate the skin.
    Some people experience redness, itching, or burning after using these products.

If you are considering using a thread vein cream, it is important to understand the limitations and be realistic about your expectations.

Why not talk to a doctor first. They can recommend other options that may be more effective and help you weigh the risks and benefits.

How to get rid of thread veins

If you are concerned about thread veins, laser therapy or sclerotherapy are clinically proven methods of dealing with unwanted vein problems.

  • Laser treatment works by targeting the targeting the visible blood vessels with a burst of laser energy to make the veins shrink and eventually disappear. One session may provide complete improvement for spider veins.
  • Microcautery techniques use a very quick burst of intense heat which works to destroy the venous walls, so that the vein quickly collapses and is no longer visible
  • Microsclerotherapy is an injectable treatment, which tends to be used more for leg veins. This works in a similar way, by destroying the vein so that it disappears while blood simply flows through other, deeper veins instead

Cosmedics Skin Clinics

Established in 2003, Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer thread vein removal at a selection of clinics based in London and now in Bristol too. They use the latest techniques with GMC-registered doctors and surgeons.

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.