A bothersome cluster of red, blue, and purple veins on your face may be a matter of concern if you do not know what is causing them. Facial spider veins are common as the skin of the face is thin, sensitive, and constantly exposed to elements. Luckily, they are usually harmless and can be treated easily, and with a few lifestyle changes, you can prevent them from coming back. Visit Downtown Vein & Vascular Center for innovative vein care and customized solutions for spider veins that affect your appearance and confidence. Dr. Sergei A. Sobolevsky investigates the causes behind spider veins on your face and recommends the best management and treatment methods to help you achieve smooth and flawless skin within a short time.
Spider veins on the face, also known as facial vessels, broken capillaries, or dilated capillaries, are extremely common. Most people experience them to some degree throughout their lives due to one reason or another. Usually, they are harmless and only need treatment if you don’t like the way they look.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins or telangiectasias are damaged blood vessels visible just beneath the surface of the skin. They typically look red, blue, or purple but do not pose any health risk. They are called spider veins as they may appear in clusters resembling spider webs or tree branches. Spider veins can form anywhere but mostly develop in the legs or face.
Spider veins are not painful or cause any complications. Burning, itching, or discomfort, especially in the legs, are rare symptoms of spider veins. A range of treatment options can remove spider veins or reduce their appearance if you don’t like how they look.
When blood vessels are prominent near the facial skin surface, they are also known as facial telangiectasis. Fortunately, facial spider veins can be prevented and treated successfully.
Keep reading to know why spider veins happen and how you can get rid of them for good.
What Causes Spider Veins on the Face?
When small blood vessels in the skin on the face enlarge or dilate, the blood that normally flows in and out of these vessels may pool and remain there. It results in a small cluster of tiny capillaries, just beneath the surface of the skin. They can appear as red, blue, or even purple small lines that spread into a web-shaped form.
Broken vessels on the face develop around the nose, cheeks, chin, and neck. Some people have higher chances of developing them than others. This usually occurs due to poor circulation of blood, aging, and damaged skin.
Spider veins occur on the face for several reasons. Some causes of spider veins on your face include:
- Genetics – For some reason, spider veins are heredity. If your parents or grandparents had spider veins, chances are you will have them too.
- Advancing age – The valves in the veins get weaker with time. The muscles that support veins and enable them to pump blood lose some of their strength as you age. Individual risk factors also increase with age.
- Too much sun exposure – Excessive sun exposure can enlarge the blood vessels and draw them closer to the skin. If you get a sunburn, the top layer of the skin may peel and make some blood vessels in the face more noticeable.
- Weather changes – Drastic changes in the weather can affect blood circulation, causing the skin on the face to flush. It particularly happens in hot weather, which increases blood vessel dilation, and they may burst, resulting in spider veins.
- Excessive pressure in the face – Sudden or extreme pressure in your face due to a violent sneeze, cough, or vomiting can break the blood vessels in the skin and cause spider veins to appear. Some women may get spider veins on their faces after pushing during childbirth.
- Pregnancy – An increase in estrogen hormones during pregnancy can lead to broken blood vessels. These spider veins usually disappear on their own after birth.
- Environmental or chemical irritants – Exposure to certain environmental or chemical pollutants can damage the skin and enlarge the blood vessels, making them more visible.
- Rosacea – It is a common skin condition that leads to excessive redness and flushing and visible blood vessels in your face.
- Alcohol consumption – Moderate or occasional alcohol consumption can cause the skin to flush as the blood vessels dilate. Heavy drinking can lead to long-lasting broken blood vessels and spider veins.
- Injuries – Head injuries that cause bruising may result in broken blood vessels on the face.
Not all cases of broken blood vessels on the face are the same. If you are uncertain about the causes of spider veins on your face or have been through an injury or trauma, it is best to visit a vein specialist for a proper examination and diagnosis.
Home Remedies for Treating Spider Veins on the Face
Home remedies are often the first course of treatment for decreasing the symptoms associated with spider veins as well as lowering the risk of developing them.
A few lifestyle changes and natural remedies to help with spider vein disease include:
- Cold compress – A simple cold compress, such as an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables, can be applied to the face after sun or heat exposure. The cold helps to reduce the appearance of burst blood vessels in the face.
- Apple cider vinegar – Apple cider vinegar acts like an astringent on the skin and pulls it tight to reduce redness. It can lessen the appearance of spider veins by reducing redness and other related features of spider veins.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C plays a key role in keeping the blood vessels healthy. Its supplements can help to reduce the appearance of broken blood vessels on the face.
- Aloe Vera – The gel from an aloe vera plant helps treat redness on the skin.
If home treatments do not work or you are not satisfied with the results, your doctor may recommend a medical solution for your spider veins.
Treatment for Spider Veins on the Face
Spider veins are necessarily not permanent. They can fade with time. However, it take can up to years before they become less noticeable. Seeking medical attention and following a doctor’s advice can help to reduce or eliminate spider veins from your face successfully.
Treatment options include:
- Sclerotherapy – It is a minimally invasive procedure in which the doctor injects a chemical solution into the broken veins. The poorly functioning damaged veins harden, close, and finally disappear. This treatment also reduces the swelling and causes the affected veins to shrink and vanish. Most people notice results within a short time.
- Laser therapy – It is another effective treatment to break up spider veins, usually those in the face. It targets and destroys the poorly functioning vein entirely using a strong, focused beam of light which seals the damaged vessels off and dissolves them. If the spider vein is small, you may see it disappear right away, but it may take one to three months to get rid of large spider veins.
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy – IPL therapy uses special lights that penetrate the deeper layers of skin to dissolve damaged veins without damaging the top layer. It works best on spider veins that are very noticeable and need precise targeting to treat. Light therapy is very effective in killing bacteria on the surface of the skin and helps if you suffer from acne. It also encourages the regeneration of cells, which means less recovery time and less damage to the skin.
Receiving treatment from a best vascular specialist ensures you enjoy smooth and healthy-looking skin within a short time, without suffering side effects like increased redness, itchiness, or scarring.
Read more: What Does a Varicocele Look Like?
How to Prevent Spider Veins on the Face
Some spider vein risk factors cannot be avoided, but there are ways to lower the risk of developing them, as well as to decrease their symptoms.
You can prevent spider veins on the face by:
- Avoiding extreme heat – Avoid spas, saunas, or hot water, as excessive heat can dilate the blood vessels and increase the chances of spider veins appearing.
- Limiting exposure to the sun – Limit your exposure to the sun and make sure to wear sunscreen, a hat, and long layers of clothing to prevent sun damage.
- Wearing protection – Spider veins that result from injuries can be avoided by wearing protective gear such as facemasks and helmets for baseball, cycling, or riding a motorcycle.
- Avoiding vasodilators – Vasodilators cause the vessels to fill with blood and make spider veins more noticeable. Common vasodilators include caffeine, spicy food, and alcohol.
Spider veins do not cause pain or additional symptoms, but seeing broken blood vessels on your face can be frustrating. Identifying the direct causes behind spider veins, and taking steps to treat and prevent them can stop them from recurring.
Broken blood vessels on the face can become a nuisance and make you self-conscious. The good news is that they are treatable if you figure out the underlying causes. Visit Dr. Sergei A. Sobolevsky if you are uncertain your spider veins are hereditary or resulting from some medical condition to learn about management and treatment options and prevent any serious outcomes. Dr. Sobolevsky has years of experience helping people with their spider veins and comes up with the best vein treatment options and remedies to keep you looking and feeling your best.
Sergei Sobolevsky, MD, is a leading specialist in endovascular medicine with experience in vascular and interventional radiology. Dr. Sobolevsky has decades of experience in the field, with over 25,000 procedures performed, accumulating extensive experience in image-guided minimally invasive medicine, diagnosing and treating a range of conditions.
Dr. Sobolevsky earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in 1997 from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his specialty clinical training in vascular and interventional radiology at Harvard University. Later, he earned his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Recognized as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor and named to the Top Doctors New York Metro Area in 2020, 2021, and 2022, Dr. Sobolevsky is licensed in multiple states, has delivered presentations at numerous institutions in the US and abroad, and now acts as a clinical advisor for the biomedical industry. He also held multiple positions in the field during his career, including Chief of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY, Senior Vice President in Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Artann Laboratories in North Brunswick, NJ, and Medical Director at the American Endovascular and Amputation Prevention Center in Brooklyn.More About Dr. Sobolevsky