Thread Veins – Types and Definitions

thread veins LondonThread veins, also known as spider veins, are those pesky red, purple, or blue lines that can appear on your face or legs. While they’re generally harmless, they can be a source of self-consciousness for many – especially when they’re larger and more prominent.

There isn’t a specific classification for different types of thread veins. However, they can be categorised based on their appearance, largely in terms of:

  • Colour:
    Thread veins can be red, purple, or blue, depending on their depth within the skin. Red veins are closer to the surface, while deeper veins appear blue.
  • Location:
    They are most commonly found on the legs and face, but can also develop on the arms and torso.
  • Pattern:
    Thread veins can be linear (straight lines) or branching (resembling spiderwebs).
  • Size:
    Visible veins come in all shapes and sizes, from small and fine veins to large swollen veins
  • Associated conditions:
    The larger varicose veins are not just cosmetic. They can also cause issues such as itching/discomfort/pain and even skin problems and ulcers

Understanding these variations can help you manage them better. It can also help you work out whether it’s something that has a medical implication or is purely a cosmetic concern.

What are thread veins?

Thread veins are dilated (enlarged) capillaries or small veins close to the skin’s surface. Unlike their bulging cousins, varicose veins, thread veins are flat and web-like. They appear due to malfunctioning valves within the veins. Normally, these valves ensure blood flows one way, towards the heart. However, when damaged, blood can pool and cause the veins to enlarge, forming the visible thread veins.

Common thread vein definitions

  • Spider veins/angiomas:
    These are small, bright red clusters of dilated capillaries that are common on the face (especially nose/cheeks) and legs. The name ‘spider veins’ describes the very fine nature of the visible veins, whieh have a branching pattern
  • Telangiectases:
    These are similar to spider angiomas but can be larger and more widespread.
  • Reticular veins:
    These are a bit larger than spider veins or telangiectases and are often seen on the face and legs. They are still small and may be red, purple or in more advanced cases, appear blue or greenish. These can be a precursor to varicose veins.
  • Varicose veins:
    These are twisted, enlarged veins that can occur on the legs and often come with associated problems.

Less common thread vein concerns

  • Cherry angiomas:
    These bright red, raised bumps are clusters of dilated capillaries. They’re most prevalent on the trunk and are more common in pregnant women.
  • Solar lentigines (age/liver spots):
    Often mistaken for thread veins, these are flat brown patches caused by sun damage. They appear on sun-exposed areas like the face, hands, and arms.

Saying Goodbye to Thread Veins

While thread veins aren’t medically concerning, many people seek treatment for cosmetic reasons. There are minimally invasive procedures available, like sclerotherapy (injections) and laser treatment, to target and eliminate these unwanted veins.

Cosmedics’ London Vein Treatment Centre offers a choice of safe and effective non-invasive options for dealing with unwanted thread veins in the legs. Both small and large spider veins can be treated on the face, legs and body.

These are medically proven treatments with high success rates and results are practically instant.

Laser Treatment

The sophisticated Harmony XL Pro Laser treatment is available at both London Vein Treatment Centres in Harley Street, City of London and Putney. As well as destroying the thread veins, the advanced laser energy also works to stimulate healing and cell renewal in the treated area for clearer-looking skin. It is a gentle and effective treatment for facial thread veins on the face and also deals with smaller spider veins on the legs.
Laser Vein Treatment

Injectable Treatment

For larger thread veins (e.g. purple/blue leg veins), microsclerotherapy injections may be a preferable option. This treatment is available in all of the London Vein Treatment centres.
Sclerotherapy Injections

Microcautery Treatment

The company also offer micro-cautery treatment, which uses a special probe to deliver a short burst of intense heat in a very precise way in order to destroy thread veins and spider veins. This is a fast and effective treatment
Microcautery Treatment

London Vein Treatment Centre

Established in 2003, Cosmedics Skin Clinics offers spider vein and thread vein removal treatment at a choice of 4 London Vein Treatment Centres using medically proven techniques.

All thread vein treatments are carried out by skilled and experienced doctors.

For more information, please complete the form to the right hand side or call 020 7386 0464.