'Wiggins effect' boom in cycling sees surge in number of MEN having thread veins removed from their legs
There has been a sharp rise in the number of men wanting cosmetic treatment for their thread veinsThe rise is being attributed to thousands of men finding the veins on taking up cycling and shaving their legs
16:20 GMT, 25 March 2013
18:02 GMT, 25 March 2013
The so-called ‘Wiggins effect’ has seen thousands of men take to their bikes since the London Olympics.
Shrinking waistlines and toned legs have been the predictable consequences, but it seems that there has also been an unexpected outcome.
Doctors have reported a sharp rise in the number of men wanting cosmetic treatment to have unsightly thread veins removed from their legs.
The so-called 'Wiggins effect' has seen thousands of men take to their bikes since the London Olympics
In the three months following Bradley Wiggins’ Tour De France victory in July, 10,000 new members joined Cycling UK, donned their lycra and took to the roads.
However, many also decided to replicate their cycling heroes by shaving their legs.
These unsuspecting men were surprised to discover red and blue thread veins previously hidden by the hairs on their legs.
Thread veins are typically thin spidery veins which are prominent and can be unsightly.
Dr Peter Finigan, specialist thread vein practitioner at Dr Newmans Clinic, a nationwide doctor-led consultancy which specialises solely in removing thread veins, has treated more than 50 male cyclists since September at his practice in Manchester.
He said: ‘There has been a significant rise in male cyclists requesting our treatment.
‘One comes along, has his thread veins removed, and recommends it to his friends.
WHAT CAUSES THREAD VEINS
No one knows what causes thread veins but there are some common triggers.
They can be genetic, while obesity or standing for long periods can also trigger them as these factors put pressure on the legs.
Too much alcohol can cause them, because it causes blood vessels to dilate.
Women are more susceptible because female hormones encourage blood vessel growth.
Taking the pill or hormone replacement therapy increases hormone levels so makes them more likely to develop.
‘Then three or four more from the
same cycling club make appointments to see us because they’ve been
talking about their thread veins to each other when they have a break.’
normally only once they’ve shaved or waxed their legs that they even
notice the thread veins, even though they may have had them for years.
‘Sometimes, fellow cyclists point them out, so they feel self-conscious and want to do something about them,’ he added.
There are a number of methods of treating thread veins.
The most common treatment sees microwaves being used to heat fine blood vessels and destroy them quickly without scarring. The energy is transferred to the affected area via an ultra-thin needle to ensure accurate application without affecting the surrounding skin.
When the high frequency microwaves pass through the vein they cause it to collapse and instantly disappear.
For larger veins, this technique is combined with sclerotherapy, a process where thread veins are injected with a concentrated saline solution which causes swelling in the vein wall and the vein is then absorbed naturally by the body over several weeks.
There are many causes of thread vein in legs – they may be caused by prolonged standing over many years, hormonal changes, or simply genetics.
In the three months following the London Olympics 10,000 people joined Cycling UK
The news comes just after doctors reported a sharp rise in the number of men requesting cosmetic treatment to reduce the effect of 'drinker’s nose' – unsightly thread veins on the face often blamed on heavy drinking.
Patients are apparently telling doctors that the negative connotations associated with a red nose often means they are being overlooked for promotion because others assume they’re fond of a drink or two and therefore unreliable.
However, although alcohol can increase the chances of thread veins, experts say they can also be caused by too much sun, smoking, or by rosacea, a skin condition which causes a red nose and face.