Thread or spider veins appear in perfectly healthy people, and although they are caused by dilated blood vessels in the superficial layers of the skin, they are not as problematic as varicose veins and do not increase the likelihood of varicose veins forming.

They are associated with various conditions including pregnancy, rosacea and sun damage. They can also be caused by the long-term use of both oral and topical corticosteroids. As the blood vessels remain dilated, the blood-filled veins can be seen through the surface of the skin as red, blue or purple tiny lines.

Thread veins are generally completely harmless although they may cause problems if you find them cosmetically unattractive. Depending on how extensive they are, cosmetic concealers can be very effective at covering spider veins.

If, however, you are looking for a more permanent approach, then IPL can offer effective thread vein removal. The intense light produced by the IPL device is applied to the affected skin, where it penetrates the superficial layers of skin to be absorbed by the blood in the vessels.

The blood heats up causing the vessel walls to collapse and disintegrate and the thread veins disappear from view.