Also known as Telangiectasis, spider veins and broken capillaries often occur when blood pools in the veins, rather than flowing through them easily. Although spider veins commonly occur on the legs and ankles, spider veins on face are not common.
When patients develop spider veins on face, they usually notice characteristic markings on their skin. These usually take the form of small, red lines which depict the veins under the skin. As the veins in this area are very small, the lines are also extremely thin and may resemble a spider’s web, hence the term spider veins.
Although most people don’t have any other symptoms associated with spider veins in the face, some patients report a feeling of skin irritation or burning when spider veins are present. Whilst the physical symptoms associated with the condition are minimal, some patients have emotional or psychological symptoms as a result of spider veins on face.
As the condition affects the skin on the face, spider veins in this area are very visible and this can cause people to feel self-conscious. In severe cases, patients with spider veins on face may start to avoid people or take extreme measures to try and cover up the noticeable blemishes.
The most common cause of spider veins on face is a venous deficiency. When blood does not flow through the veins easily, the increased pressure can damage the vein’s walls. This results in them becoming more visible and spider veins on face may become apparent. Due to this, the causes of venous deficiency may also be considered causes of spider veins on face. These include:
In addition to this, there are other factors which may result in the development of spider veins on face, such as:
When minor capillaries are damaged, the body is often able to use other larger veins, whilst the capillary repairs itself. In such cases, the spider vein may remain a light or reddish color. In older patients, however, the veins are weaker and may not be able to cope with the added pressure. As the capillaries and veins are less likely to repair themselves in such cases, they may take on a darker, bluish appearance, which can make them appear more prominent. Furthermore, skin tends to get thinner as we age, and this can make spider veins on the face more visible.
In addition to this, existing skin conditions, such as eczema, may increase the likelihood of developing spider veins on the face. These types of conditions can cause ongoing irritation and dilation of the capillaries and veins. Over time, this added pressure can result in damage occurring and, as a result, spider veins may form.
As some people consider spider veins to be unsightly, they may be keen to remove or minimize them. Although there are a number of over-the-counter lotions which claim to improve the appearance of spider veins, the effectiveness of these treatments is debatable. Patients wishing to improve the appearance of spider veins on face via medical treatments may be offered:
When used to treat spider veins on face, laser therapy targets the veins using short pulses of light. This causes the appearance of the vein to fade over time and can make spider veins less prominent. Following treatment, however, patients may experience side effects, such as itching, bruising, swelling, redness and/or an irreversible change in their skin tone.
Sclerotherapy can also be used to target spider veins on the face and works by rerouting blood through healthier, undamaged veins. During the procedure, a physician will inject the affected veins, causing them to close. As these veins are no longer being used, their appearance should fade over time. After receiving this type of treatment, patients may experience some itching and swelling, as well as possible changes to the color of their skin.
The efficacy of these treatments varies from patient to patient. In some cases, medical treatments can minimize spider veins completely, but this is not always achievable. In addition to this, patients may develop new spider veins in similar areas, despite treatment having been effective on previous spider veins.
Generally, people develop spider veins based on the health of their venous system. If an individual’s veins are working properly and their blood circulation is good, they are less likely to develop spider veins on face or on other parts of their body.
Based on this, people may be able to prevent spider veins on face by taking care of their health and preventing their veins from being damaged. Obesity and smoking are known to damage blood vessels, for example, so maintaining a healthy weight and stopping smoking may help to prevent spider veins on the face from forming.
Similarly, avoiding excessive temperatures and limiting sun exposure can prevent the veins from constricting and dilating too much, and may, therefore, prevent unnecessary damage from occurring.
As spider veins on face are sometimes linked to other conditions, such as eczema, patients should seek medical help for these conditions as quickly as possible. By reducing inflammation, this can help to prevent damage from occurring and may reduce the risk of spider veins on face developing.