Spider veins – also known as broken veins or thread veins – are fine red or purple veins that are usually seen on the surface of the legs or face. They often appear as threads or in webs, which is where they get their name from.
Spider veins are usually asymptomatic but you may want to explore treatment options for cosmetic reasons. Treatments are fast, safe and effective requiring no downtime from work and minimal discomfort.
Broken veins in legs are caused by either a faulty valve within the vein or a weakness of the vein wall, which cause the vein to dilate or grow larger. The dilated vein is unable to push blood back up the leg and on to the heart as it is designed to do. This causes the blood to pool in the vein and pressure in the vein to increase, which transmits to the veins on the skin surface. The end result is spider veins.
Spider veins on the leg and varicose veins are both due to the same condition relating to inefficient return of blood back up the leg to the heart. This is called venous insufficiency.
Spider veins are usually asymptomatic but may cause a burning or flushing feeling where they are present. It is usually varicose veins (whether visible or not) that cause the typical symptoms of venous insufficiency: aching, heaviness, throbbing, leg swelling, or skin changes such as itching, eczema, pigmentation, hardening of the skin (lipodermatosclerosis) or an ulcer forming.
Broken or spider veins on the face (telangiectasia) can develop at any age but tend to increase as we age. We know that genes play a part so if one of your parents or family members has them, you will be more likely to develop them. You can read more specifically about facial spider veins here.
Sun exposure is the other key spider vein cause in NZ. The sun damages the lining of the veins over time causing them to dilate and become more visible on the skin. Broken veins on the chest and face can also be more visible during extremes of weather and can be more troublesome in the heat or cold.
Spider veins removal is fast and effective requiring no surgery, no downtime from work and is usually painless. At Palm Clinic our Vein Care experts have been offering spider veins treatments for 25 years using modern non-invasive techniques and the most advanced treatment technology. Today’s leading treatment options for leg veins are Microsclerotherapy and/or Exotherme Laser, and for facial veins it’s Elos Medical IPL and Coolglide Excel Laser.
Microsclerotherapy is a treatment that uses very fine needles to inject a medicine called “sclerosant” into the affected veins causing them to close off. Once closed off, the body absorbs the broken veins so they disappear.
You don’t need to take time away from work or stop any of your normal activities for Microsclerotherapy treatment. The only aftercare required is that you wear compression stockings and walk for an hour a day during the week after your treatment.
Microsclerotherapy is usually delivered over 2-3 treatments and typically achieves 70-80% reduction in spider veins. It is the recommended spider vein treatment when you have a larger number of veins and a larger surface area to cover. Read more.
Exotherme Laser is offered exclusively in NZ by Palm Clinic’s Vein Care experts. It is laser vein removal specifically for leg veins and is a fast, almost painless treatment and a fantastic option for those who are not fond of needles. Exotherme Laser treatment zaps the broken veins causing them to close off and dissolve away. Read more.
Before treating broken veins in legs, it is important to first perform an ultrasound to detect if they are being caused by venous insufficiency or varicose veins, which are not always visible. If these are detected they must be addressed before treating the leg veins or treatment could be less effective. You can read more about varicose vein treatment here.
Elos Medical IPL is a laser treatment that is very effective at spider veins removal on the face and chest. The laser heats the blood vessels until they close up, after which they dissolve away. Three to six treatments are usually required. Read more.
When having either of these treatments it’s important that they’re performed by a trained professional as there is a risk of burning or scarring when used in the wrong hands. Palm Clinic in Auckland, NZ takes safety very seriously and our clinicians are highly trained to deliver effective outcomes without compromising on safety. This is why we were rated 95% for patient experience by an independent Southern Cross review.
View our gallery for more spider vein pictures showing before and after treatment at Palm Clinic in Auckland, NZ.
Broken and spider vein prevention in the legs is largely about keeping a healthy lifestyle and avoiding prolonged periods of sitting and standing. Prevention of spider veins on the face and chest is about sun protection and skincare.
These measures can be helpful for preventing the initial formation of spider veins in the legs as well as preventing their recurrence after treatment:
Prevention of broken veins on the face and chest is all about protecting the skin. We recommend:
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Please note that individual results may vary from patient to patient, and the information provided on our website is only a guidance to the possible results.