Thread Veins: Causes, Treatments and Removals

What are thread veins?

Our blood vessels have very thin walls which constantly dilate and constrict. As we age, these vessels lose their elasticity and can become permanently dilated and visible. This result is what is commonly known as thread veins. They start off as tiny red lines and as they grow bigger they may appear purple, red or green in colour. Contrary to popular belief, this condition can strike at any age. Thread veins do become more common as we age however they can still appear on younger skin.

What causes thread veins?

The most influential factor over whether or not you will develop thread veins are your genetics. The stronger the familial link and the more relatives you have with these veins, the more likely you are to have them. Trauma, though very rare, can also be a factor in whether you will develop thread veins, particularly where an individual has experienced crushing of the skin, or where fat has been destroyed and surgical scarring is extensive. Other causes of thread veins include sun damage, aging, smoking, alcohol consumption, sports injury, temperature extremes and harsh weather exposure, hormones and skin fragility.


Certain lifestyle changes and self-care practices can help prevent new thread veins from appearing or stop existing ones from getting worse. These include:

  • Wearing sunscreen – Applying SPF every day can help prevent spider veins, particularly on the face. Use sun-protective hats and clothing when exposed to the sun for extended periods of time.
  • Reaching or maintaining a moderate weight – This helps reduce pressure on the veins and keeps blood flowing well.
  • Wearing compression stockings – If thread veins or varicose veins are a concern or run in the family, consider wearing compression stockings or socks.
  • Staying mobile – Avoid sitting or standing for extended periods without taking a break.
  • Avoiding tight clothing – Clothing that is too tight around the waist, legs, or pelvis can restrict blood flow and may increase the risk of thread veins.
  • Avoiding overuse of hot tubs and saunas – Excessive heat can cause veins to swell, increasing the risk of dilated and bulging veins in the legs.
  • Limiting alcohol consumption – Drinking alcohol can cause flushing in the face and broken blood vessels in some people.
  • Getting regular exercise – Physical activity can help improve circulation and prevent blood from pooling in the legs.
  • Elevating the legs – Raising the legs when sitting or lying down can help prevent blood from pooling downward in the legs.
  • Book a consultation with an expert – People with skin conditions that can increase the risk of thread veins, such as rosacea, may want to consider contacting a skincare expert to discuss treatment options.
  • Using cover-up products – If the appearance of thread veins is a concern, people may wish to use body or leg makeup to mask or minimise them temporarily. Self-tanning products can also work for this purpose.

How to remove thread veins

Advanced Cosmetic Procedures is an effective treatment for the removal of thread veins. The treatment involves one of our skilled electrologists using a hand held device which incorporates a thermolysis (heat) current that passes through a very fine needle which is applied to the skin to lift away the blemish. The results are instantaneous and the treatment is comfortable and pain free. The procedure usually lasts for fifteen to thirty minutes. If further treatments are required, Advanced Cosmetic Procedures can be repeated after three or four weeks.

For more information on thread vein removal or to book a consultation with one of our skin experts visit our website.