A Complete Guide to Understanding Facial Veins

Facial Veins are broken blood vessels, broken capillaries, facial telangiectasia, or rosacea veins. They are popularly known as “Spider veins” that appear underneath the skin’s surface. They are small, red, web-shaped seen across the skin surface. 

Facial spider veins are unsightly and many people try to identify the cause and seek appropriate treatment to get rid of them. There are varied causes of facial veins, some may indicate an underlying medical condition. They may appear in any part of the body, however, they are mostly seen on the patient’s face and legs. 

Apart from the unsightly appearance, spider veins do not cause any other symptoms. They are harmless but they can impact one’s self-confidence. Luckily, facial spider veins can be treated once the cause is identified. 

Our body is made up of numerous veins. The venous system has a complex network of tiny veins draining into larger veins. Determining the location and type of vein is extremely crucial to find appropriate treatment for spider veins. 

Anatomical location of Facial Veins

1.  Chin, Cheeks, and nose

Most patients confirm having facial veins in these areas. These veins are mostly telangiectasia (fine blood capillaries), which are bright red. They usually occur individually or as a large patch in the patient's cheeks, chin or nose.

2.  Periorbital area

Such facial veins are located under the eye or lateral to the eyes. They are reticular and bulging veins. They are associated with veins located in the temple area. 

3. Temple

The majority number of patients have facial veins located on their temples. They appear to be branching from a single vein at the lateral sides of the eye, and several veins branch upwards towards the hairline. 

This article will highlight the major causes of facial spider veins, how to remove facial veins and what are the best treatment options available for the same. These veins are generally blue/green in color.

4. Forehead

Visible forehead veins due to laughter, workout or inner heat

Facial veins in the forehead are large, vertical, bulging, and rarely show any color. They may be single or multiple. Such veins are not aesthetic and patients want them to be treated as it affects their appearance.

What are the Major Causes of Facial Veins?

Although facial spider veins can develop in anyone, some people are more likely to develop facial veins. There are many reasons associated with the development of facial veins. Below mentioned are the major causes of broken blood vessels:

Genetics: Facial veins can be hereditary. If a person has a family history of facial spider veins, they are more likely to develop the same. 

Hormones: Pregnant women have high levels of estrogen (a hormone) in their bodies. These women have a high chance of developing facial veins. In most cases, they are temporary and the veins disappear once the baby is out.  

Sun exposure: Excessive and prolonged sun damage can enlarge and dilate the blood vessels. A sunburn peels the topmost layer of your skin further exposing your blood vessels. 

Rosacea: It is a chronic skin disease that leads to excessive redness and flushing. Often facial spider veins are seen in people suffering from Rosacea.

Changes in Weather: Extremely hot weather to drastic changes in climate can affect the blood vessels. The blood vessels break and form spider veins. 

Changes in pressure: Sudden changes in pressure can also cause breakage of blood vessels. Vigorous washing, popping pimples, etc can damage sensitive blood vessels. 

Environmental factors: Certain environmental pollutants or chemical irritants can cause blood vessels to break, dilate and appear web-like.

Alcohol: Occasional alcohol consumption can flush your blood vessels. Heavy drinking can lead to facial spider veins. 

Injuries: Medium to significant injuries can cause bruises. Bruises break blood vessels and the person can develop facial veins.  

Vomiting or sneezing: Sudden and extreme pressure in your face caused due to either vomiting or sneezing can also lead to the development of facial veins. 

Medical conditions: Few medical conditions such as scleroderma, lupus, and liver disease increase your chances of developing the disease. 

How to Diagnose Facial Spider Veins?

In most cases, broken facial veins can be identified at home due to their peculiar spider web-like appearance. However, one must seek a doctor’s help to confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor will suggest treatment options and prescribe the necessary medications to treat the symptoms. 

In certain cases, facial spider veins may indicate an underlying medical condition such as rosacea, liver disease, etc. Hence it is important to consult a professional's help in treating the condition.

How to prevent Facial veins?

Facial veins that develop due to a medical condition such as Rosacea may be difficult to prevent. In many cases, facial veins are temporary and they disappear with time. During pregnancy facial views develop and disappear once the baby is born. 

Following ways can help prevent facial veins, 

Protect yourself from the sun: Wear a sunblock, hat, or clothes with long sleeves to protect yourself from sun damage. Also, avoid going out in the sun at peak hours. 

Avoid extreme high temperature: Avoid frequent sauna, steam, spa, etc as very high temperatures can enlarge and dilate the blood vessel and cause breakage. 

Wear protective gear: Wearing protective gear will help you prevent injuries. While cycling, riding a motorcycle, playing baseball one must wear protection to avoid injuries. 

Stay away from vasodilators: Caffeine, alcohol and spicy food are common vasodilators. Vasodilators dilate the blood vessels and make spider veins more visible. Even moderate or occasional drinking can form facial veins in some people. 

Watch your medication: Some medicines such as nitroprusside (Nitride), tadalafil (Cialis), sildenafil (Viagra), etc may also result in dilated blood vessels which can advance into facial veins.

How to treat facial veins?

Facial Veins may range from small capillaries to large subdermal veins. A doctor diagnoses spider views by a visual examination. Treatment may involve few traditional approaches and few invasive surgical approaches. Treatments vary as per the cause and type of facial vein.  

While thinking about possible treatment options, one must consider the color, size, depth, type, and location of the vein. These factors are important to find the correct treatment and medication.

 

Electrocautery

This is one of the simplest ways to treat individual veins. In this method, heat is generated at or near the point of a needle and alternative currents are passed. The heat generated destroys the epidermis and the vein. 

Devices needed for this procedure are not very expensive and the treatment is quite effective in treating individual veins or a small cluster of veins. 

 

Sclerotherapy

This technique involves injecting sclerosants to help treat spider veins within a few weeks. Many practicians offer sclerotherapy as a treatment for facial veins. 

Sclerosants seal the blood vessels and help spider veins to disappear in a short period. The method may cause discomfort, however, the side effects subside within a few days. 

 

Laser Therapy

This method involves the usage of intense laser light to target problematic spider veins. Laser treatment also kills the surrounding skin cells and must be handled by experienced practitioners. 

Laser for facial veins will require multiple sessions and it is an expensive method. Veins may reappear and the procedure may need to be repeated. 

 

Retinoids 

Retinoid creams are used for treating many skin conditions. Your doctor may recommend a retinoid cream for the treatment of facial veins.

Retinoid creams reduce the appearance of spider veins and improve skin health. Although, they may cause dryness and redness in the affected area. 

 

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Intense pulsed light (IPL) machines produce concentrated and controlled bursts of white light in pulses. White light comprises infrared and ultraviolet (UV) rays. 

These rays penetrate the skin layers without damaging the top layer. This treatment option is promising and causes minimal damage to the skin.

A large area can be covered by a single shot of white light. The method is quite similar to laser treatment, IPL also requires multiple sessions to treat facial veins. 

 

Phlebectomy

Large bulging veins can be treated by phlebotomy

Laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment may not be enough to treat large bulging veins. For such facial veins, phlebectomy can be used.

It is a complicated procedure and requires practice. It is a minimally invasive procedure. It used a small scalpel or needle to remove varicose veins. 

Wounds caused by the procedure disappear within weeks and patients are requested to avoid sun exposure for several weeks. 

There are several treatment options available to get rid of spider veins. Smaller facial veins are easier to treat. Your practitioner will identify the type of vein and suggest suitable treatment options. 

Home Remedies

There is no medical need to treat facial veins. Facial veins treatment is a common aesthetic procedure. Few home remedies can help reduce their appearance on the face.

Home remedies are generally safe and do not cause any side effects. However, a patch test would be a good idea to check for any allergic reactions.

As natural ingredients are free of risks, they are the first course of treatment done by patients. The following home remedies have proven effective in reducing facial veins,

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is mostly found in every pantry. It is effective in reducing the readiness and appearance of facial veins. 

Patients must use it consistently in place of a toner to notice a reduction of symptoms.

Avoiding using hot water

The skin on our face is much thinner than the rest of the body. It is delicate, and excess heat can damage the blood vessels. It is crucial to avoid exposing the face to hot water as it can increase facial veins. 

Showering with cold water is advisable for patients to avoid damaging the blood vessels. 

Cold Compress

Applying ice, an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas on the affected area can also heal broken blood vessels or skin exposed to high temperatures. It is a simple, yet effective home remedy. 

Arnica Oil

Arnica oil or products containing arnica oil have proven to reduce spider veins. Arnica oil has anti-inflammatory properties and boosts blood circulation. This helps speed up the healing process.

Regular massage using arnica oil can reduce the appearance of spider veins. It is important to do a patch test before using it on one’s face. Patients should check with their dermatologist before using arnica oil as a natural remedy. 

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is a natural astringent that may help reduce the appearance of spider veins. It contains tannins, which have antioxidant properties too. 

Witch Hazel is easily available in pharmacies and can even be purchased online. 

Aloe Vera

Aloe gel can help reduce the appearance of facial veins. Research indicates that it reduces redness and hydrates the skin. Aloe vera gel is used to reduce some of the symptoms associated with spider veins. 

Horse Chestnut

Horse chestnuts have anti-inflammation and anti-swelling properties which can help improve the appearance of spider veins. 

A combination of horse chestnut and witch hazel can work as a natural toner for daily use. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C supplements have helped reduce the appearance of facial veins. One study shows that Vitamin C is an essential component for healthy blood vessels. It keeps collagen in the cells intact and maintains the elasticity of blood vessels.  

Herbs

Various herbs are used to treat facial veins. They have anti-inflammatory properties and improve the overall health of the skin.  

Following are the herbs used on spider veins,

  • Sage
  • Chamomile 
  • Oat
  • Calendula
  • yarrow

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