Telangiectasia, also known as spider veins or thread veins, are fine veins that can be seen through the skin. They are often found on the outside of the thighs, but can occur anywhere on the legs. They are usually of a red to purple colour and often become more prominent with prolonged standing or exercise. These veins do not usually cause any discomfort but can be associated with localised aching or burning pain.
This problem often runs in families or may develop following an injury to the leg.
Although unsightly, surface veins are usually harmless, and the majority of these veins can be successfully treated with sclerotherapy. However, a proportion of people who notice only surface veins on the legs can be found to have underlying problems with larger veins beneath the surface. These will have an effect upon the optimum management, and the results of surface vein treatment. For this reason it is important to have a thorough assessment which may include ultrasound mapping prior to commencing any treatment.