Author: Ingrid Katz (Pure Aesthetics)
Broken capillaries, telangiectasia, spider veins... whether on the legs or face, many of us have come across these unsightly bugbears.
There are a few reasons why these veins appear:
- Standing for long periods of time can cause veins to become more prominent, resulting in spider or varicose vein formation.
- It could be genetic. If a family member has them, you have about a 50% chance of suffering from broken capillaries as well.
- Spider and varicose veins can develop during pregnancy. Although these are likely to disappear afterwards, a few thread or spider veins often remain.
- Extra body weight also puts extra pressure on the veins and there is a higher risk of superficial or varicose veins forming.
- The natural ageing process also increases the risk of veins appearing on the surface of the skin as the skin structure becomes more compact.
Historically, sclerotherapy (injection of a solution into the vein) was the only answer to getting rid of these veins. Now, with the advancement of lasers, we are able to effectively treat veins with far less down time and pain.
These veins or vessels sit very superficially in the skin and provide no contribution to our vascular system and so are safe to remove. The laser used for removal delivers pulses of light energy into the vein which causes the blood to coagulate and eventually destroy the vessel. This blood flow is then redirected to veins deeper below the surface where it will be used more effectively.
The treatment can be done on the face and legs, treating small to medium sized veins (about 3mm in diameter). Varicose veins and “knotty” veins are not good candidates. We would recommend consulting with a vascular surgeon for this.
Patients may need to have several treatments due to this being a progressive condition, meaning that over time, more veins may become apparent on the surface.