What causes thread veins and varicose veins?
In most cases, there is a family history so the cause is likely to be genetic although there are other factors including exposure to wind or extreme temperatures, cortico-steroid medicines and radiotherapy.
Patients often find the appearance of thread veins quite distressing but can be reassured that though unsightly, they are unlikely to cause medical problems. They can be treated and their appearance significantly improved. A key factor in thread vein treatment is that thread veins tend to become more common and apparent with age. Around one in five women in their 20s have thread veins. This rises to around 50% at age forty and by the age of 70 over 70% of women have some thread veins. Early treatment of small thread veins is certainly easier and cheaper than the treatment of larger older thread veins that have been allowed to develop.
Although usually just a cosmetic problem thread veins on the legs can cause symptoms like burning pain and itching.
Varicose Veins often result from the additional pressure exerted on the legs during pregnancy.