Published On: Thu, May 17th, 2018

The miracle vein jabs that could transform your legs | Health | Life & Style

Thread or spider veins are very common, affecting one in three womenGETTY

Thread or spider veins are very common, affecting one in three women

The 47-year-old mother of three, who presented BBC’s Countryfile, developed thread veins in her 20s and varicose veins during pregnancy.

“It didn’t stop me going out but it would certainly stop me wearing certain outfits and certain dresses and skirts,” she says.

Julia had laser therapy in 2016 to remove the varicose veins and recently had a treatment called microsclerotherapy to tackle her thread veins.

Thread or spider veins are very common, affecting one in three women.

They can appear anywhere on the body but are most likely to show up on legs, caused by pressure building up from sitting and standing for long periods.

Usually red, blue or purple they often develop in clusters like little spider’s webs, hence the name.

Varicose veins are larger and more prominent swollen veins that are often bulging or lumpy in appearance.

People tend to think thread veins and varicose veins are two separate problems. However, they often coexist.

Most patients have a mixture of thread veins and varicose veins so we always advise having an ultrasound scan before any treatment to find out exactly what’s going on.

‘It would certainly stop me wearing certain outfits and certain dresses’ says Julia BradburyGETTY

‘It would certainly stop me wearing certain outfits and certain dresses’ says Julia Bradbury

It’s important to be aware that thread vein treatments are only a temporary fix and there is still no one-off cure for them.

You will need top-up treatments twice a year. It is also recommended that varicose veins are treated first so bear in mind that treatment can be a slow process.

Read our guide to the best vein-busting procedures below.

TIP: Fake tan or concealer can work wonders. Try Vichy Dermablend Total Body Corrective Foundation, £20 (vichy.co.uk), which provides water-resistant coverage for 16 hours.

AT THE CLINIC: The super jab

During microsclerotherapy a solution is injected along the vein, causing it to collapse.

It is then reabsorbed by the body. Most people need two to four sessions, a month apart, and compression garments must be worn after each treatment.

Bruising can last for up to three months so the best time to start treatments is autumn or winter.

Cost: From £200 per treatment.

TIP: Vitamin C and bioflavonoids strengthen the walls of blood vessels, preventing veins from swelling.

Dark red berries such as cherries and blackcurrants are a good source of Vitamin CGETTY

Dark red berries such as cherries and blackcurrants are a good source of Vitamin C

The vein zapper

Veinwave is a minimally invasive treatment that is designed to treat smaller veins.

During the procedure an ultra-fine needle is inserted just under the surface of the skin.

An electrical current is passed through the needle, destroying the vein.

Results are often immediate although you may need a top-up treatment after six weeks.

Cost: From £300

TIP: Staying active boosts circulation, which can prevent problem veins forming.

It’s also important to avoid standing for long periods to stop pressure building up in the veinsGETTY

It’s also important to avoid standing for long periods to stop pressure building up in the veins

Laser power

Intense pulsed light laser treatment, often known as IPL, can effectively tackle broken veins around the ankles or backs of the knees that are not suitable for microsclerotherapy.

During the treatment veins are targeted by light energy and are then absorbed by the body.

You will need three to six sessions, a month apart, to completely remove them.

You cannot have IPL up to five weeks before or after a sunshine holiday as the light targets the pigment in the veins, putting you at risk of hyperpigmentation marks.

For this reason it is essential to wear at least an SPF30 after treatment.

Cost: From £100 per treatment

TIP: Red wine contains antioxidants that reduce the build-up of plaque in your arteries, improving blood flow. If you’re not a red wine drinker, dark chocolate, walnuts and cranberries are also a good source.

The varicose blaster

Until relatively recently, surgery was the only option for removing varicose veins.

However, new techniques and technologies mean that it is now possible to tackle the problem in a minimally-invasive manner.

Endovenous Laser Treatment only requires a local anaesthetic and there is much less bruising and discomfort after the procedure than after surgery.

A laser fibre is inserted into the vein through a small incision just above the knee or in the thigh.

Once fully inserted, the laser fibre is then slowly withdrawn, damaging the vein walls and causing them to shrink so blood can no longer flow through.

Red wine contains antioxidants that reduce the build-up of plaque in your arteriesGETTY

Red wine contains antioxidants that reduce the build-up of plaque in your arteries

After treatment, the blood in the faulty vein is redirected to normal healthy veins.

An elastic stocking bandage is applied immediately afterwards and you will be able to go home the same day.

Cost: From £2,000

TIP: Support hosiery can help. It uses pressure on the ankle, calf and thigh to maintain good circulation, improving blood flow back to the heart.

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For advice on cosmetic surgery consult your GP. For more of Lesley’s tips see lesleyreynolds.com

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