February 20, 2024
Spider veins, also known as ‘thread veins’, can be a concern wherever they appear on the body. These damaged veins appear as a network of thin, red or purple lines that are visible through the skin. They most commonly appear on the face, hands or legs.
As many people dislike their appearance, it’s not uncommon to choose to have them removed. So if you have spider veins that you’d like to get rid of, you may be wondering if the treatment is available through the NHS.
Unfortunately, spider vein treatments are not covered by the NHS. The reason for this is that spider vein treatment is considered to be cosmetic. Even varicose veins, which are much larger than spider veins, are only covered under particular circumstances - namely, if they’re severe enough to cause pain or discomfort. As spider veins never usually cause physical discomfort, the only option for having them removed is with a private clinic. The below is taken directly from the NHS website in reference to telangiectasia varicose veins, also known as ‘spider veins':
“Some people also get treatment for cosmetic reasons – but this kind of treatment is rarely available on the NHS, so you'll usually have to pay for it to be done privately” - NHS
You may find advice online on how to treat spider veins without a medical procedure, for instance with natural remedies such as apple cider vinegar, horse chestnut, vitamin C or coconut oil. However, as with any information you find online, it’s important to question the sources; the truth is that none of these things can treat the damaged veins lying under the surface of your skin.
Similarly, there are some creams on the market that claim to treat spider veins. While these can sometimes help make spider veins less noticeable, they can’t actually treat the issue. Retinoid cream, for example, contains two substances (tretinoin and a form of vitamin A known as retinyl) that work together to boost cell regeneration and collagen production. These thicken the skin, making any veins underneath less visible. However, the damaged spider veins will still be there and will reappear when the effects of the cream wear off.
Makeup can be used to camouflage spider veins, but this is of course a very temporary fix. Unfortunately you also can’t just wait it out as spider veins won’t go away on their own. The only way to remove them permanently is to have them medically treated.
The simplest way to treat spider veins is by encouraging the body to absorb them naturally. Treatments such as Veinwave use micro thermal coagulation to do exactly that. The procedure is completely non-invasive and involves applying a targeted source of heat to seal the damaged veins. Once they are closed off, the body simply reabsorbs them, removing them completely and permanently.
Another treatment option for spider veins is microsclerotherapy which can be done alongside Veinwave for maximum benefit. Microsclerotherapy involves injecting the spider veins with diluted liquid sclerosant using micro needles. This then helps to collapse the walls of the damaged vein, preventing blood flow and allowing them to be absorbed into the body.
Although you may be disappointed to learn that this spider / thread vein treatment isn’t available on the NHS, we’re more than happy to work with you to find a payment option that works for you. If you have private medical insurance with Bupa or AXA, we can help you understand if you are covered for the treatment cost. If you do not have this insurance, we may offer a 3 month payment plan - you can see our pricing page for more information. To find out more about your options and to help us create a treatment plan tailored to your needs, you can book an initial consultation at either of our London Harley Street, Wimbledon, Cambridge, Birmingham, Maidenhead, Reading or Manchester Pall Mall clinics.
Take our two-minute diagnostic test to see if you could benefit from varicose vein treatment.
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We're pleased to be able to provide our world-class varicose vein treatment in a variety of places throughout the United Kingdom. Learn more about your treatment options, including endovenous radio-frequency ablation (EVRF) and foam sclerotherapy, at the clinic closest to you
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