During my career as an anaesthetist I saw so many people with no make up on, which made me realise how common facial thread veins are. So many of us have them, and most of those who do absolutely hate them! Many people feel that the red look the veins gives their face leads to them being judged as an alcoholic. The reality is that although alcohol is one cause, the list of causes is enormous. Genetics, blowing our nose, asthma and sun exposure all play a role for example. The skin condition rosacea is another cause, which I think is very under-diagnosed (another blog about this coming soon!).
My research for a treatment option led me through IPL, laser equipment and electrolysis before I discovered Thermavein. To people who have had electrolysis before, Thermavein may look similar but is in fact very different. Using a microwave current delivered through a tiny needle, Thermavein causes heat coagulation of the vessel. The microwaves are delivered to a very localised area, meaning there is no widespread damage to surrounding tissue as with some other devices. In fact there are no long term side effects whatsoever to Thermavein, and no risk of scarring — again a huge difference compared with other devices.
So how would I describe a treatment? It feels a little bit like a very very gentle version of touching an electric fence when you’re a child. The first one makes you jump a little bit, but then you get used to it and it just sort of tingles. Around the nose is a little more eye-watering, but definitely worth the results you get. Afterwards you look quite flushed, but I apply a camouflage foundation to take the redness out of your skin. For the next week or so you may develop some crusting over the treated areas. A month later you come for a follow-up appointment, and we may need to do a little touch-up work — some veins are just a little more persistent!
I have also used Thermavein to remove skin tags on the body, treat red spots known as Campbell-de-Morgan spots, age warts, and together with microsclerotherapy for treating some leg thread veins.
Whilst the treatment permanently destroys the blood vessels, you can always form new thread veins. For this reason I think it is crucial to discuss any risk factors you have for thread veins and try to decrease your risk for the future, leaving you with a clearer more even-toned skin that will make you look much fresher and younger.
Dr Sophie x