We help you feel confident in your own skin
We help you feel confident in your own skin
Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Therapy
The safe use of Intense Pulse Light (IPL) therapy for the removal of thread veins or spider veins and facial redness or pigmentation, provides results that can be very effective and long lasting. Thread veins are often cosmetic unsightly, especially when they are on the face, and can cause real psychological trauma and discomfort for sufferers.
No need to live with visible facial, broken, red thread veins
The medical term for facial thread veins or spider veins anywhere on the body is telangiectasia. They are often hereditary but can be caused by excessive exposure to the sun (photoageing), smoking, being overweight, certain medical conditions and medicines, and are common with rosacea. Thread veins are often found on the face, usually across the cheeks or nose, and on the legs, but treatable telangiectasia can occur in many places on the body.
At Blemish Clinic, we use the award-winning LUMINA Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) machine from Lynton Lasers to treat and remove unsightly thread veins. The British-made device has an excellent reputation, making it the no.1 professional combined laser and IPL machine, which is why Jan Birch, our dermatology specialist consultant nurse recommends it to her patients.
*Data gathered via our post-treatment survey
Conditions treated with Intense Pulse Light (IPL) thread vein removal
Red facial veins, thread veins, spider veins on the legs, telangiectasia, rosacea, spider naevi or spider angiomas, and other vascular lesions.
"I've been having a course of treatments with Katie and am extremely happy with the results. The team are so kind and professional - the clinic is extremely focused on improving your individual needs and will go above and beyond to make sure you get the results you want to see."
Thread veins, which you may also hear called spider veins, are tiny, dilated blood vessels located just underneath the skin’s surface, making them visible as red, blue, or purple collections of tangled veins. The medical term for them is telangiectasia. They occur most commonly on the legs and face in both men and women.
Telangiectasia and visible facial thread veins are caused when increased blood pressure causes the body to force blood into the tiny veins on the surface of the skin, so they dilate and enlarge. They become more common as we get older, skin and the tissues underneath become thinner, and we suffer from other ageing effects or skin conditions, such as rosacea. Some factors are thought to increase the risk of having thread veins, including being overweight, smoking, the overuse of steroid creams, sun exposure, the use of oral contraceptives, some auto immune conditions, or simply your genes, with research suggesting they are hereditary.
Thread veins do not normally indicate a serious medical condition but can be cosmetically unsightly and on rare occasions can be painful or uncomfortable for sufferers, creating an aching sensation.
We use an Intense Pulsed Light or IPL machine called the Lynton LUMINA to precisely target pulses of extremely bright light at the thread veins. A specific light or wavelength of light is used that is absorbed by the blood vessels due to the red colour of the blood (haemoglobin) within, meaning that it is not absorbed by surrounding skin or hair. By only targeting the light at the blood within the thread veins, this results in the delivery of heat causing the blood within to coagulate, and the vessels to become damaged or destroyed and be gradually absorbed by the body, healing and removing the thread veins swiftly.
We can also treat facial redness from rosacea with IPL and individual vascular lesions, such as spider naevi or spider angiomas, where there is a central red spot with the red veins radiating outwards from the centre. We are also able to offer thread vein treatment in the neck either using the laser or IPL within the LUMINA.
Normally, only a few sessions of thread vein treatment are needed with the Intense Pulsed Light device to reduce the redness and visibility of the thread veins. You will be advised during your consultation on the expectation from treatment, and if more than one session is required, these will be spaced 3-4 weeks apart. Each treatment takes 15-45 minutes depending on where we are treating.
We will also provide you with advice on protecting your skin to reduce the chance of more spider veins developing in the future.
Your suitability for thread vein removal using Intense Pulsed Light will be assessed by our dermatology specialist consultant nurse during a consultation where a full medical history will be taken to determine if there are any underlying medical conditions or medicines that you are taking that may make you sensitive to light and preclude you from treatment.
If you are generally in good health, then treatment is usually suitable for most men and women, although we cannot treat very dark skin tones with Intense Pulsed Light treatment due to the potential of side effects that cause changes in skin pigment. The best results are seen in those with lighter skin tones as the red coloured blood that we are targeting within the thread vein is more pronounced in contrast with lighter skin, and the light from the IPL is therefore more readily absorbed for optimal removal of the telangiectasia.
If you have an area of active skin infection – bacterial, viral, fungal, etc. – or broken skin in the area to be treated, you will not be suitable for IPL treatment and will be required to wait until that is resolved and healed.
If you are pregnant or breast feeding, you will not be suitable for treatment and will need to wait until after this time.
The comfort of our patients during treatment is very important to us at the Blemish Clinic. IPL treatment for thread veins is usually well tolerated, with an acceptable level of discomfort, often likened by our patients to the feeling of elastic bands snapping on the skin or a very quick pin prick. However, to minimise any pain and discomfort, we offer a variety of topical anaesthesia using cooling and the application of a chilled gel during treatment.
Because we are delivering very bright light during treatment, both you and the practitioner will be wearing safety eye goggles to protect your eyes during treatment.
The treatment is designed to only target the veins, leaving surrounding skin unharmed.
Following your treatment session, you can expect the area to feel warm to the touch and have a redness to the skin that will last for several hours. If we have treated an especially delicate area of your face or your décolletage, you may experience redness and swelling for 24-48 hours before it resolves.
You will be given aftercare advice on how to look after your skin and things you can use to reduce any discomfort after treatment.
A rare complication from IPL treatment causes patches of lighter or darker skin to develop on the skin which can be treated. All potential side effects will be explained thoroughly during your consultation.
You can usually expect to see results from thread vein removal with Intense Pulsed Light after a single treatment, depending on the size and location of the area being treated, although several sessions may be required for optimal clearance.
The best results are seen with small clusters of thread veins, individual vascular lesions, and rosacea.
Treated spider veins can vanish immediately if they are very small, but most typically disappear 2-4 weeks after treatment.
Intense Pulsed Light is regarded as both a safe and effective treatment for telangiectasia such as thread veins, rosacea, and spider naevi. The treated blood vessels will not return as they are destroyed during treatment.
However, there is a possibility that the body may choose to develop new thread veins in the future if the underlying causes persist. We cannot therefore say that results are permanent, but most patients experience a very high success rate and do not need further treatment.
Thread veins or spider veins are often cosmetically unsightly, especially if they are on the face, around the nose and cheeks. Intense Pulse Light (IPL) can be used to safely and effectively remove these telangiectasias.