Thread veins tend to appear on the face and legs, although they can form anywhere on the body. Unlike varicose veins, they do not usually cause discomfort and do not pose a threat to your health. They have various causes, from hormonal changes to a sedentary lifestyle, which result in the veins remaining constantly dilated.

For people who are conscious of their image, thread veins can cause real cosmetic problems. They are red or purple in colour, which makes them particularly visible on pale skin, and can extend in fine, spidery lines across the skin which makes them difficult to conceal.

IPL works by rendering the vessels unable to carry blood. The intense light is applied to the affected skin, where the haemoglobin in the blood absorbs it and begins to heat up. Once the blood reaches a temperature somewhere between 60 and 70°C, the regenerative cells lining the veins walls start to denature. The vessels collapse and disintegrate, thus removing the problem.

This type of treatment permanently destroys the offending blood vessels, and will only need repeating if other vessels then become dilated.