A thread vein is a small blood vessel near the surface of the skin. The operator guides the visible light from the flash-lamp to the blood vessels needing treatment. The unique AW3® system carefully filters this light in two ways to ensure that only light with the correct characteristics (wavelengths) is allowed to reach your skin.
Blood contains haemoglobin that absorbs the light and converts it into heat. This heat destroys the protein in the wall of the thread vein. As a result the veins will gradually, and safely, disappear after treatment.
To ensure optimal light transmission to the blood vessel, a thin layer of gel (similar to that used in ultrasound examinations) is applied to your skin before treatment.
Which thread veins can be treated?
Thread veins on all parts of your body can be treated. The most common treatments are for superficial veins in the facial, chest or leg areas.
As the treatment relies on absorption of light by the haemoglobin in the blood, the most effective results are seen with light skin. The lighter the skin, the more pronounced the contrast between the vessel and the skin, making treatment easier. However, AW3® systems have pre-programmed settings for different skin colours that deliver the correct energy output for your complexion.
Does it hurt?
Skin type is a fundamental effecting factor in this treatment as due to the high level of pigment in the skin. Tolerance of pain is very individual from person to person and machine to machine. We have a variety of machines including no pain machines and the sensation of each are completely different.
No anaesthetics are required, and most people describe the sensation as similar to that of a rubber band snapping onto the skin. You may find it comforting to cool the skin after the treatment.
Do I need to take special precautions before and after treatment?
The light used is a completely safe, visible light. Potentially harmful wavelengths are removed by our unique filtering system. Since tanning takes place by accumulation of pigment (melanin) in the skin, it is, however, important to avoid tanning (sun, solarium or self-tanning cream) before and during the treatment period. Otherwise your tanned skin will absorb more light, which makes treatment less effective.
Generally, no post-treatment care is needed. But people with sensitive skin may benefit from using a soothing cream for a few days after treatment. We recommend you limit sun exposure and use a sunscreen (SPF 60) for a few weeks following treatment. After treatment of thread veins on the legs, compression (surgical) stockings should be worn for two weeks.
If larger veins on the leg have already been treated (surgery or sclerotherapy), the treatment should be delayed for at least one month to allow the healing process to be complete first.
How many treatments do I need?
The number of treatments depends on the body site and the severity of the thread vein. Clinical studies have confirmed that 2-5 treatments usually are needed, and these are timed about one month apart.