Thread vein and pigmentation removal

Thread Vein

Thread veins are formed by an increase in the size of small blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin. Sometimes referred to as telangiectasia or spider naevi, these tiny red, blue or purple veins can appear anywhere on the body but are most commonly found on the face and legs.

Thread vein removal treatment is carried out using energy heat pulses which are applied in short bursts which close down the thread veins without perforating them or damaging the surrounding tissue. Following the thread vein removal treatment the vessels quickly clear and are re-absorbed by the body, leaving little or no trace of the original lesion.

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Why do thread veins develop?

Thread veins are caused by a variety of factors including exposure to ultra violet light, wind and extremes of temperature. Steroid creams and the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can also induce thread veins.

Some individuals are genetically more prone to develop thread veins than others and some people are more at risk because of old injuries. If your parents had thread veins, then there is a good chance that you will develop them.

It is possible that hormone treatments, such as the contraceptive pill and HRT can increase the likelihood of forming thread veins.


How does laser thread vein removal work?

All lasers/IPLs (Intense Pulsed Light) work by producing light of a very specific wavelength. If the wavelength of the laser is matched to a target colour (such as the red of blood in the vessel wall), the energy of the laser is absorbed specifically by the target but not by the surrounding tissues.

The IPL produces a slightly wider range of wavelengths of light, but works in exactly the same way.

The IPL delivers a series of energy pulses generating heat for very short periods of time; this energy closes down the thread veins, without perforating them.

The damaged veins are gradually dissolved away and disappear over several weeks after treatment.


How many laser treatments are needed for thread vein removal?

The number of treatments needed will depend on the site and the extent of the affected area and will be estimated at your consultation. It is usually necessary to do 2 treatments or possibly more. Treatments are usually planned at four week intervals. We do not carry out treatment on patients who are tanned or have recently been exposed to UV.

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Pigmentation Treatment

The colour of our skin, hair and iris of the eyes is due to melanin – a brown or black pigment produced by special cells called melanocytes. Melanin production is hereditary but increases with exposure to sunlight. Skin that has been exposed to UV light can produce irregular or abnormal pigment production in the form sun, age, or liver spots (solar lentigos) and freckles (ephelides). Skin looks patchy and uneven in tone and texture.

Pigmentation treatment uses Intense Pulsed Light which can effectively treat certain pigment problems by breaking down the pigmentation into smaller particles, which are then eliminated by the body’s own immune system.

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How does laser/IPL treatment of pigmentation problems work?

Areas of skin previously damaged by light develop abnormal pigment production. The aim of treatment with an IPL is to break down the pigment into smaller particles which are then eliminated by the body’s own immune system.

What Pigment Problems can be Treated?

The most important thing is that any intervention does not make matters worse: some pigment problems can be associated with skin malignancy and it is most important that any potential problems are identified and dealt with properly.

The following conditions can be treated:

  • Many people suffer from uneven skin-tone, or skin dyschromia.
  • Sun spots, age spots or liver spots – all known medically as ‘solar lentigos’, or ‘solar lentigines’.

Laser or IPL is not suitable for:

  • An increase in skin pigmentation stimulated by hormones associated with pregnancy and use of the contraceptive pill eg. ‘Melasma’ or ‘Chloasma’. This is best treated with a skin lightening product like Obagi.

We will always insist on our right to refer back to your GP in the event of any uncertainty.

We do not treat Melanocitic Naevi (pigmented moles) with an IPL: although the pigment may respond to treatment, it often returns and there is uncertainty about the effect of laser energy on these lesions.

How many treatments are required?

Each treatment will normally only break up a proportion of the pigment and every case is individually assessed. However some pigmented lesions will disappear after one treatment. A period of 4-6 weeks is required between treatments.

How does laser/IPL treatment of pigmentation problems work?

Areas of skin previously damaged by light develop abnormal pigment production. The aim of treatment with an IPL is to break down the pigment into smaller particles which are then eliminated by the body’s own immune system.

Is the treatment painful?

Treatment is not painful but can be a little uncomfortable. Patients will experience a stinging sensation as the IPL is fired. However any discomfort is kept to a minimum with the use of a cooling gel . Post treatment cooling is also advised.

Are there any side effects?

The most common after effect is redness of the skin that can last for a day or so. Slight blistering can occur but this is rare and will clear up within a few days. In darker skin types, changes in skin colour can occur and you will be advised of any adjunct treatment necessary to prevent this. Because each individual’s skin responds differently we always carry out a careful pre-treatment test patch procedure to assess individual response so that no unexpected reactions take place during a full treatment.

What can I expect immediately after treatment?

You may experience a little discomfort and a stinging sensation for an hour or so after treatment. There may also be slight swelling and a temporary redness, while the immune system response is active.

Is the treatment safe?

Yes. Lasers have been used in medicine for over 30 years and there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the treatment can lead to skin disorders or any increased risk of skin cancer. Extensive clinical trials for laser and IPL pigment problems have resulted in a very safe technique with a minimal risk of side effects.

Can anyone offer this kind of treatment?

At The Beauty Rooms all staff are required to undertake the nationally recognised BTEC Award for the delivery of Laser and Light technologies and techniques. Staff at The Beauty rooms are trained to a very high standard and regularly update their clinical knowledge and skills.

Should anyone avoid this treatment?

The treatment should be avoided by anyone who is:

  • Hypersensitive to light.
  • Suffering from live cold sores in the treatment area.
  • Suffering from vitiligo(skin pigment loss).
  • Pregnant.

A full medical history will be taken prior to any treatment being offered to exclude any problems.

How do I prepare myself for treatment?

If you have a tan you should wait at least 4 weeks after your last UV exposure until there is no activity in the pigment producing cells.

You should avoid perfumes, deodorants or any potential irritants in the treatment area before and after treatment.

You should avoid alcohol, aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as Nurofen for 48 hours before treatment – this will reduce the risk of a skin reaction.

How do I find out more?

You will need to book a consultation. This takes a full 45 minutes and is designed to allow us to assess your needs, advise you of our expectations and make our recommendations for treatment. We will then patch test to ensure that your skin reacts to the Laser or IPL in the predicted way. Consultations and patch tests are free of charge.