I have just returned to Dorset having spent the day in London training two doctors in the treatment of thread veins (known medically as telangiectasia). Dr Charlene Scicluna (middle) is a General Practitioner and Specialist Cosmetic Doctor from Malta and Dr Johanna Ward (right) is a General Practitioner and Cosmetic Specialist who has her own clinic in Kent, the Skin Clinic Sevenoaks. Both doctors completed my intensive one day course today in London and they demonstrated a thorough understanding of the condition, how it is managed and they showed that they are competent in the treatment of these unsightly veins.
Charlene and Johanna see many patients who are concerned about thread veins on the nose and cheeks as well as on the neck, chest and legs. Both have had variable success with treatment options such as laser and intense pulse light (IPL) so they were keen to receive training in the most effective methods of removing these sorts of thread veins.
In published scientific trials, sclerotherapy always comes out tops for the removal of thread veins on the legs and most vein specialists regard it as the “gold standard”. In this treatment, a prescription medicine called a sclerosant is injected directly into the thread veins using very fine needles, slightly bigger than a human hair. The sclerosant removes the lining of the vein instantly (surprisingly this is not painful) and then the vein responds over the course of 6 weeks by shrinking and becoming much less apparent. Usually, 3 treatment sessions separated by 6 weeks are needed to achieve the desired improvement.
For the face, neck and chest, an electrical treatment called Short Wave Diathermy gives excellent results. After numbing the affected area with local anaesthetic cream applied to the skin, a very fine needle is used to conduct a medical electrical current into the veins which are heated and instantly sealed. Usually only one treatment is needed and the veins disappear after 4 weeks.
The course that I run in London in association with Wigmore Medical is supported by a comprehensive course manual that delegates receive in advance to study and then the theoretical aspects are summarised by intensive lectures in the morning. After a short lunch break, the delegates are instructed on the treatments. The techniques are demonstrated and then the delegates get to do the treatments themselves under my careful scrutiny and supervision. I am always very grateful to the volunteers with thread veins who allow the delegates to inject their leg thread veins by sclerotherapy and allow their facial thread veins to be removed by Short Wave Diathermy. Both delegates today were able to have “hands-on” experience over several hours.
I wish Charlene and Johanna great success in their own clinics and I look forward to hearing from them.