Preventing thread veins

In this section we discuss ways of reducing the risk of thread veins. If you have a genetic predisposition towards these or varicose veins then this cannot be altered, but it is possible to reduce the risk.

Remember: if there is a history of conditions such as thread veins and/or varicose veins in your family this does not mean that you will automatically get these. What it does mean is that you are at greater risk of doing so.

Find out more about how you can reduce your chances of getting thread veins.

Prevention is always better than cure. We have included a few lifestyle changes which are easy to do, do not take up too much of your time and are beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing.

These changes will also help even if you have a higher then normal risk of getting thread veins.

They include:

  • Exercise
  • Managing your weight
  • Healthy diet
  • Mind and body activities
  • Compression stockings
  • Elevating your legs
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time


We all understand the importance of exercise in terms of keeping fit and healthy. It confers a range of benefits which include a healthy heart, strong bones, improved immune system and mental wellbeing.

But regular exercise is also good at reducing thread veins. Plus it has the same effect on varicose veins.

Exercise boosts your body's circulation which means that blood is pumped around your body (and through the veins) at an improved rate. This prevents the risk of blood collecting in the lower half of the body, e.g. legs which are a known trigger for thread/varicose veins.

Managing your weight

It is important to maintain a healthy weight, not just for your overall wellbeing but your 'vein health' as well. If you are carrying an excess of body fat then this can put a strain on several areas of the body which includes the vascular system.

Excess weight puts pressure on the veins, causing them to become inflamed and distended. This then leads to conditions such as thread veins.

Losing those extra pounds will reduce that risk.

If you are obese then it is a good idea to discuss a diet and exercise plan with your GP.

Healthy diet

This should form part of a healthy living plan along with exercise, stopping smoking (if applicable) and a moderate alcohol intake. Aim for a diet which contains protein, starchy (complex) carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals and minimise your consumption of saturated fat.

Also choose foods which are high in fibre as this will help your digestive system and avoid conditions such as constipation. Constipation is one of several risk factors for varicose veins and thread veins due to the unnatural pressure put on these by straining whilst in the bathroom.

Look for fresh fruit and vegetables and wholegrains/multigrains.

Mind and body activities

This refers to activities such as Yoga and Pilates. These are both very popular forms of exercise which use stretching movements and meditation (yoga) to improve strength, flexibility and overall wellbeing.

But an important factor with an activity such as yoga is that it involves poses which require the practitioner to assume an inverted posture which is good for the circulation. Poses such as the headstand mean that blood is able to flow from the legs towards the heart rather than pooling in the lower extremities.

Any form of exercise such as Yoga and Pilates are great for the circulation which also reduces the risk of vascular diseases, e.g. varicose veins.

Compression stockings

These are a type of stocking which are available in a variety of different strengths according to the nature of the vascular condition. They are worn by people who suffer from varicose veins and can also help those with thread veins.

They are a close fitting sock which stretches as far as the knee or even the thigh and is designed to be worn throughout the day. These stockings are tighter and have the greatest amount of compression around the ankle in order to boost the circulation.

Support tights are another option. Speak to your pharmacist or GP about compression stockings.

Elevating your legs

It is a good idea to set aside a period of time in the day to elevate your legs. This means resting them on a stool or lying down and placing a cushion or pillow under your legs.

The idea is to lift your legs so that blood is able to flow through the veins and towards your heart.

Avoid standing for long periods of time

Try to avoid standing on your feet for a long period of time. The problem with doing this is that the circulation slows down which then causes blood to pool in the lower area of your body, i.e. your legs.

If this happens that it can put pressure on the veins over time which causes them to become swollen and distorted (varicose veins). But it can also lead to thread veins as well.

Depending upon the type of job you have; if possible, try and walk around as often as you can and shift your centre of gravity when stood still. Shift your weight from one foot to another and sit down whenever you have a break.

What happens if you have a desk job?

If your job requires you to spend long hours sat at a desk or you have what is termed a 'sedentary lifestyle' then get up and move around whenever possible.

Do this several times in a day to keep your circulation moving.

Plus when you do sit down, avoid sitting with your legs crossed at the knees or ankles as this restricts blood flow through the veins.

Preventing facial thread veins

This refers to a condition called 'rosacea' which affects the facial capillaries. This type of thread veins causes a great deal of upset and embarrassment for the sufferer and particularly affects light skinned people or those with a fair skin.

The tiny blood vessels in the face become enlarged which causes the face to have a hot, flushed appearance. Small acne spots sometimes develop as well.

Avoid certain triggers for rosacea which include caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, citrus fruit, chocolate, smoked foods and prolonged exposure to the sun and/or wind. Take extra care when going from a cold place to a warm environment.

Guide to Thread Veins

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