Everything you need to know about veins…and how to get rid of them!

Veins, they’re pretty important let’s be honest. They carry blood around our body giving oxygen and nutrients to our vital organs so quite rightly we should feel thankful for them…well in some cases it’s okay to be a bit annoyed with them being there! Visible veins most commonly found on the face and legs can be a great distress for men and woman alike and it’s often not know what the best treatment approach is.

I’ve treated countless vein cases in my time as a practitioner and believe me, they are easier to get rid of than you’d think. This blog will explain the different types of vein and the best treatment approaches!

Thread veins & Spider Nevi:

My go to treatment would always be Advanced Electrolysis (a.k.a ACP). The treatment works by using a hot needle to tap against the vessel, cuaterising it and shutting it down.

It feels like a hot sting and generally needs 1-2 treatments. Results can be seen instantly and there is very little downtime (skin will be slightly dry in treated area for 2-3 days following treatment).

The treatment costs within the range of £50-£150 per session, this will depend on experience and location. See below for a before, during & immediately after treatment photo of a spider nevi I recently treated…

spider nevi
Photos owned by skinandshit.co.uk

Alternative treatments would involve laser or IPL. The most common treatment being ND:YAG. This however wouldn’t be my first choice as you need to have a patch test prior to treatment, you have to avoid sun exposure for 4 weeks pre & post treatment, you generally need 3-6 sessions, it’s more uncomfortable, it poses more risk of contra-indications such as burning and it’s more expensive ranging from £75-£200+ per session. Advanced electrolysis doesn’t pose any of these problems!

Leg veins:

Leg veins can develop on any skin type or gender. Woman however are especially vulnerable, due to regular leg crossing and the pressure on the legs associated with pregnancy. They have also been linked to high impact exercise such as running on concrete and obesity, so it is a very common problem.

For these veins you will need a high-level laser as if they are not shut down properly they will return. An ND:YAG is the most commonly used laser for treating leg veins, as this wavelength is highly absorbed by the hemoglobin (which give the blood its colour). 

I’ve worked with several devices for leg veins and my favourite by far was the Duetto Evo which uses a blended wavelength of ND:YAG and Alexandrite.

Alexandrite (alex) wavelength is highly absorbed by dark colours like black and deep purples (this is why it’s the best option for hair removal). By using these combined wavelengths, it allows for all sizes and colours of veins to be treated, be they dark and purple or thin and red. Funnily enough the bigger the vein the less treatments it needs as due to the target being bigger it allows for more absorption and ultimately more destruction.

Most clients will require between 1-4 treatments on any individual vessel, remembering the smaller they are, the more treatments they will take.

You can’t have an active tan so must avoid sun exposure for 4 weeks before & 4 weeks after treatment or you risk burning and pigmentation changes.

A patch test is always required so if you find a clinic who is willing to treat you without a patch test, turn around and walk out of the door! Costs vary on device, experience and location but is generally in the region of £95+ per session. See below for results achieved on leg veins before and immediately after a Duetto Evo treatment on my lovely auntie.

 

Photos copyright of MediZen Ltd

 

Photos copyright of MediZen Ltd

The other treatment option available is Sclerotherapy which is performed by a doctor. The procedure involves a salt solution being injected directly into the blood vessel. This causes a reaction with the lining, causing the vessel to collapse and ultimately disappear. Downsides to this treatment are ultimately the fact that it needs to be delivered by a medic results in it being significantly more expensive (around £250+ per session). You also have to wear compression garments for around 4-8 weeks following the procedure and it can only treat veins big enough to fit a needle into, so you can’t treat very small veins. This is why laser would always be my recommended treatment.

Varicose veins:

Commonly occurring on the legs and feet there are, they are characterised by their dark, swollen and lumpy appearance. They occur when smaller veins in the legs stop working properly causing them to swell and enlarge.

shutterstock_522221809

I don’t have 1st hand experience treating these vessels as they really need to be dealt with by a vascular surgeon. However following research, I have found that the most common treatments are:

  • Endothermal ablation – The use of heat to deal affected veins
  • Sclerotherapy – The use of special foam to close the veins
  • Ligation & stripping – The veins are surgically removed

It is very unlikely that you will receive treatment for varicose veins on the NHS, so treatments will incur significant costs.

For more information click here to go to the NHS page on all you need to know about varicose veins.

If you have any questions or would like any suggestions on clinic’s please get in touch via our Facebook or Instagram pages.

Thank you for reading

xxx

Zoe

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