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Thread Veins

Those tiny red veins just seem to appear overnight either on your cheeks, under eyes or chin, but where do they come from?

Thread, spider veins or Telangiectasia are often hereditary especially if you have fine, pale Celtic skin or mature skin which makes then even more visible, rosacea skin also is prone to broken veins particularly as we age. www.pennybadgerbotanicals.co.uk

Veins age just like we do so if they are constantly inflamed they will swell and break showing themselves.

Inflammation can come from having skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea where ‘flushing’ weakens the capillaries.

Broken veins are often aggravated by alcohol, particularly for rosacea sufferers but can also be inflamed by a host of lifestyle factors.

Sun, wind and cold will contribute to broken veins, we have all seen people who work outside or on the land often with bright red cheeks.

Skin care can also aggravate if you use products with alcohol or strong perfume.

Food and drink are also culprits, particularly in the colder months when we eat hot soups and stews and hot coffee and tea.


Being aware of what inflames your skin is the best way to stay in control and reduce the damage.

1. Use natural alcohol free skin care without strong perfume.

2. Cover the face from the wind and cold with scarves and from the sun with a wide brimmed hat.

3. Control exposure to varying temperatures, going from cold to hot very rapidly so after being out in the cold remember to introduce heat indoors gradually so as not to inflame the skin, keep the temperature in the car at medium, don’t turn it up too hot!

4. Food and drink are the easiest to miss on a daily basis but if you can remember to eat and drink things that are warm not hot, that will make a great difference to your skin.

5. Alcohol is not banned but must be consumed with moderation, I would suggest for every glass of wine you have a glass of water too, as this will dilute the alcohol and its effects on the skin.

6. Avoid anything that makes your skin red, burning or sore as this is what inflammation looks and feels like. Many things inflame the skin such as stress and even computer screen exposure.

7.Make a list of your personal inflammation ‘triggers’ and keep it somewhere you see it every day to remind you.

8. Exercise lightly as heavy strenuous exercise causes flushing of the skin. www.pennybadgerbotanicals.co.uk

All of these factors cause flushing and lead to vascular changes and dilation of the blood vessels of the face. Usually the blood vessels return to their normal size in minutes, but continued fluctuations in vessel sizes and the strain this places upon the vessel walls, can lead to permanent dilation of the vessel which shows on our face as thread or spider veins.

Nutritional Support

Avoid spicy food and fill up on nutritious fruit and vegetables full of healing vitamins.

Vitamin C: Helps by promoting good blood circulation. It helps reduce inflammation and is important for assisting in the production of collagen, the most abundant protein in the body and plays a crucial role in that it strengthens the walls of the veins, promotes healing and protects  membranes against damaging free- radicals. Adding some berries, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, kiwis, bananas, oranges and lemons into your diet can reduce the formation of thread veins.

Vitamin E: Improves the health of our veins and helps prevent thread veins. Broccoli, kiwi and spinach contain significant amounts of the vitamin, you can also get vitamin E from eating fortified cereals, nuts, seeds, avocados, leafy greens and wheat germ.

Vitamin B : There are a variety of B complex group of vitamins that can help treat and prevent thread veins by strengthening the blood vessels.

B vitamins are found in all whole unprocessed foods such as brown rice, what and barley.

Also in meat products such as liver, turkey and tuna, with other excellent sources that include: potatoes, lentils, beans, nutritional yeast, brewers yeast and molasses.

Vitamin K: Leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli and parsley are all rich in vitamin K


Treating Thread Veins

Skin care containing rose, liquorice and anti-inflammatory herbs help to reduce levels of inflammation and are an important step in reducing and preventing more veins appearing.

Make up is also a way of feeling better about the appearance of your thread veins with many companies offering opaque foundation and concealer especially for this problem.

I would advise against using tinted green make up as in my experience it just gives a ghostly look to the face and doesn't conceal very well, not a good look !

Using a yellow based foundation, concealer and powder gives a more natural look and conceals better. Mineral make up is also very good for concealing.

If you really cannot live with your veins, treating them is straight forward and usually successful.

Pulsed Dye Laser: Is an effective treatment that works by firing a beam of light at the effected blood vessel through fibre optic. At the end of the cable is a pen-like device which sends a rapid pulse directly onto the affected area. It penetrates less than 1 mm into the skin and the light is absorbed by anything red, so as broken veins are predominately red they quickly heat and destroy the vessel, leaving a bruise it its place. The bruise will usually heal itself within 10-14 days and to counter act the heat a jet of air or a cooling gel is applied to make it a more comfortable experience. Some people experience some level of pain, as though being flicked at the face. Your skin needs to be protected from sunlight during your course of treatment and for a few weeks afterwards.