Beauty Clinic: Can I fix broken veins?


Q. I seem to have sprouted thread veins on my cheeks, which is an awful shock.  I can cover them with make-up but is there anything that can get rid of them?

A. We asked journalist and author Alice Hart-Davis, who has specialised in the subject of non-surgical cosmetic procedures for 20 years, for her advice on your concerns.

Alice points you to Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments. IPL is different from laser in that it works by emitting flashes of intense light that have more of a scattergun effect than laser, which is more concentrated and specific.

IPL can shatter brown or red pigments in the skin, which are then cleared by the lymphatic system - the body’s ‘dustman’. So it’s useful for clearing brown/age spots, also thread veins and can also help with redness of rosacea.

Alice counsels that ‘it’s not a permanent change as more pigmentation or redness or other thread veins will emerge over time, but it makes an impressive difference’. Treatment will probably need repeating every six to 12 months.

While it’s not precisely painful, it can be a bit uncomfy and might make you jump the first time. (Sarah is just having IPL for brown pigmentation spots on her face and she did have a bit of a squeaky moment to start with.)

For more information, do consult The Tweakments Guide by Alice Hart-Davis, and visit her website,

After IPL, as with other procedures, you MUST protect your skin very carefully from UV light so that means SPF50 every day.

If you want to wear foundation, cosmetic doctor and GP D.r Rabia Malik ( recommends Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation/£45, which can be applied immediately after procedures like IPL.