Short Wave Diathermy

Short wave diathermy is the effective treatment for visible facial thread veins.

Telangiectasia is the medical term for the tiny visible thread veins found on the body. Common sites are the face, legs and chest. These tiny veins are also referred to as ‘spider veins’ and ‘thread veins’. These tiny little capillaries/veins are damaged due to various reasons and can become unsightly.

Although not fully understood why they occur, common factors are long term unprotected sun exposure, ageing process, found in those with rosacea and smoking.

They can be hereditary and also associated with other conditions such as liver disease. Occupation and lifestyle can also contribute, especially those who are outdoors a lot. When the delicate elastin fibres are damaged within the vein walls they then become dilated and visible.

What is short wave diathermy?

Short wave diathermy is best described as a treatment by which an electric current passes through a very tiny probe that coagulates the tiny veins. It achieves this because the electric current produces heat. It is very similar to how electrolysis works and a specific type of probe is selected. The specific probe for short wave diathermy is insulated, this means it protects the surrounding skin from the heat produced.

How does it work?

The treatment works by the position of a tiny probe (thickness of a strand of hair) on the vein which cauterises and seals them by an electric current. Once sealed, the vein is then broken down by the body and you will notice it starts to fade away.

The amount of treatments required will depend on how many veins there are and how the veins respond. Short wave diathermy treatment is not painful but can be little uncomfortable so most clients prefer to have a local anaesthetic cream applied beforehand.

To give time for the healing process to take place, treatments are usually between 4-6 weeks apart.

Short wave diathermy is also effective for treating other conditions such as small skin tags, milia and blood spots.

What to expect when having treatment:

Short wave diathermy is not a painful procedure but can feel a little stingy. Most people opt to have an anaesthetic cream applied to numb the areas to be treated.

The skin is cleaned and the treatment is then carried out. Depending on how many facial veins there are majority of the veins are treated in one session. You may however, require more than one treatment session especially if the veins are on the large side.

A magnifying lamp is used during treatment to highlight the tiny veins and this provides a more accurate position of the probe onto the tiny veins.

An SPF cream is applied post treatment and it is recommended to apply a good SPF daily to protect the skin and treated areas.

Following your treatment:

  • Advice sheet
  • You may experience mild swelling and erythema (redness) from the heat of the treatment, but generally lessens within 24 hours.
  • You may experience slight discomfort, burning sensation. This should calm down quickly.
  • You may see an immediate disappearance of the veins treated but in general they can take 4-6 weeks to fade.
  • Crusting may occur; this is due to tiny rust spots along the treated veins. Do not pick these off as it increases the risk of scarring.
  • Avoid wearing make up for 12 hours
  • The risk of hyperpigmentation is very rare. To help prevent this, it is recommended to apply SPF50 sun protection daily from UVA/UVB rays.
  • You may require more than one treatment to achieve the best results. These should be 4 - 6 weeks apart.


Per treatment session - £80
1-2 veins - £50