Vitamin K is the key vitamin used in most spider vein creams. But can creams or serums cure these broken capillaries or facial thread veins?
Vitamin K Creams
Vitamin K skin creams purporting to improve spider veins generally contain vitamin K1 (there are also 2 other types of vitamin K).
The chemical name for Vitamin K1 is phylloquinone, or more commonly phytomenadione (phytonadione) – that’s what is more likely to be listed on the ingredient list.
The ‘K’ in ‘vitamin K’ comes from ‘Koagulations Vitamins’ – the German for coagulation. This group of vitamins are essential to coagulate blood and used by doctors and surgeons to aid recovery after surgery, particularly skin healing and bruising.
Spider veins appear when blood vessels expand and blood pools within them, making them appear visible at the skin’s surface.
Vitamin K creams here are expected to work on thread veins in the same way that they would on bruising – by aiding blood coagulation.
Vitamin K Concentration
The amount of vitamin K in the cream will naturally influence its effectiveness. Doctors tend to use products with at least 5% concentration phytomenadione/ phytonadione/ phylloquinone (chemical names for vitamin K).
Vitamin K can also be a useful preventative measure, particularly in diet.
Vitamin K in Diet
The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of vitamin K is 120 micrograms a day for men and 90 micrograms a day for women. Vitamin K1 is found in green vegetables. Top sources are:
- Kale – ½ cup = 444 micrograms
- Spring onions – ½ cup = 103 micrograms
- Brussels Sprouts – ½ cup = 78 micrograms
- Cabbage – ½ cup = 82 micrograms
Can Vitamin K Help Spider Veins?
Vitamin K does have proven medical benefits and can be effective in treating spider veins for some patients. It very much depends on the nature of the veins, but creams and diet are an easy and economical option and well worth a try.
However, once the spider veins have become established, creams are of limited benefit and will not always be effective. At this point, patients can consider medical treatment.
Spider Vein Removal
There are a variety of medical treatments for spider veins.
- 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 Bristol using 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.