Are thread veins common?

Are thread veins common?

Firstly, what are thread veins?

Thread veins are thin, prominent veins that are visible below the surface of the skin. A doctor will differentiate thread veins from varicose veins as they are considerably smaller and they tend to look less aggressive. Although thread veins don’t usually cause any physical discomfort, they are unsightly and can affect your confidence and self-esteem.

Are thread veins common?

Thread veins affect roughly 20% of women in their 20’s, with that figure rising to 50% at the age of 40; reports also suggest that nearly all of us suffer from thread veins at some point in our lives.  These statistics indicate that thread veins are a common condition. But why do we get thread veins, and how can we treat them?

So, why do we get thread veins?

The cause of thread veins is blood vessels in the skin becoming permanently dilated. Dilation is the result of the muscular walls of vessels relaxing, meaning that the vessel widens, or becomes more open – the correct medical term for the widening of blood vessels is ‘vasodilation’.

When the blood vessels dilate, there is increased blood flow, and this increased blood flow causes the vein to become more prominent; the diagnosis – thread veins.

What areas are most affected by thread veins?

The most common areas of the body that thread veins appear are the legs, face and nose. The reason that thread veins tend to be more common on the legs, face and nose is that the skin tends to be thinner in these areas.

When do we get thread veins?

Thread vein can appear at any point in your life. However, there are some points in life that it is more common for you to get thread veins.


As you age, your skin becomes thinner and loses collagen. As the skin becomes thin and is less structured, any swollen veins beneath the skin can become far more visible.


It’s safe to say that winter in the UK is cold. Because of the cold temperatures, us Brits tend to overcompensate by having the heating on, taking hot baths and wrapping up warm. The extra heat that we expose our body to during the winter can cause vasodilation, meaning veins become visible.


Thread veins can often become an issue for women during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the body undergoes extreme hormonal changes, including increased progesterone levels. An increase in progesterone levels can dilate, or open veins. Another one of the reasons why pregnant women get thread veins is that the uterus puts pressure on the vena cava, which is the vein that carries blood from the legs and feet to the heart.

Can thread veins be removed?

Luckily, for anybody who does suffer from thread veins, they can be treated. The most effective technique for treating and removing thread veins is Thermocoagulation, more commonly known as Veinwave or ThermaVein.

Thermocoagualtion is a thread vein treatment in which the affected area of the body is exposed to microwaves. The microwaves generate heat that destroys the vein, and over time, the destroyed vein gets reabsorbed into the body.

The best thing about Veinwave or ThermaVein treatment is that it is non-invasive and does not use lasers; meaning the treatment is largely painless and doesn’t unnecessarily damage any non-affected tissue.

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