Thread veins

Thread veins are a common sign of ageing that can leave unwelcome marks on the skin. Interestingly, they tend to affect women more than men, possibly due to hormonal factors. These dilated blood vessels can make the skin appear uneven in tone, effectively ageing it. Read below for some frequently asked questions about thread veins.

Thread veins, also known as spider veins or broken veins, are minuscule capillaries that appear as thin red lines on the face and legs. They tend to cluster around the nose, cheeks, thighs, or calves. The distinctive red color is due to haemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen in the blood.

Technically referred to as telangiectasia, these pesky veins are caused by the dilation of capillaries near the skin’s surface. Telangiectasia may sound like a Greek tongue-twister, but its meaning is simple: telos for ‘end’, angeion for ‘vessel’ (not like the Queen Mary, but blood vessels), and ektasis for ‘becoming dilated’.

Thread veins can be a result of genetics, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors. Factors like excessive exposure to ultraviolet light, wind, or extreme temperatures can contribute to aging of the skin and the veins. With age, both the skin and thread veins lose their elasticity. If your skin easily flushes red, the repeated stretching of the veins can accelerate the loss of elasticity, making them visible on your face. Interestingly, heavy drinkers often develop thread veins as alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate and the face to flush.

Thread veins do not directly result from age, but they do become more visible as we grow older. The elasticity of our blood vessels diminishes, causing the veins on our face to gradually enlarge. Additionally, the thinning of our skin with age further accentuates the visibility of these under-the-skin blood vessels.

Laser treatment is an excellent option for effectively removing thread veins. It is a safe and efficient procedure that can help address thread veins.

Unfortunately, skincare products do not eliminate or clear them completely. To effectively conceal noticeable thread veins, your best option is to use a well-pigmented concealer.


To minimise the appearance of thread veins and reduce their visibility, follow these five steps:

Take care of your skin by keeping it clean, hydrated, and exfoliated. Make sure to apply sunscreen to protect it.
Limit your alcohol consumption since it can cause blood vessels to dilate, leading to more visible thread veins.
Avoid consuming excessively hot beverages, as they can also worsen thread veins.
Steer clear of saunas, as the extreme heat can promote the development of thread veins.
Be mindful of consuming spicy foods that can cause facial flushing, temporarily making thread veins more noticeable.

By implementing these practices, you can delay the onset and minimise the appearance of thread veins.