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Spider veins can be very stressful to experience. While they’re technically harmless to your health, spider veins can make you feel very self-conscious, especially when they pop up on your face. If you’re struggling with spider veins on your face, you’ve probably wondered what caused them and how you can get rid of them. In this post, we’ll answer these questions and more as we go over everything you need to know about spider veins, including how to treat and prevent spider veins on the face.

What are Spider Veins? 

Spider veins, known medically as telangiectasias, are broken blood vessels that become visible under the skin. From a distance, spider veins may look like red splotches on the skin. But when you get up close, you’ll see that they’re lines with smaller, spidery branches coming off them. On the face, spider veins most commonly occur around the nose, cheeks, and chin. However, they can occur in any area of the face or body. 

Are Spider Veins the Same Thing as Varicose Veins? 

Spider veins are commonly confused with varicose veins, a larger type of visible vein. However, varicose veins are different from spider veins in that they often cause symptoms and side effects. Varicose veins can cause pain, swelling, aching, or throbbing. Spider veins, on the other hand, very rarely cause symptoms and are generally only a cosmetic issue. 

What Causes Spider Veins on the Face? 

Spider veins occur when blood vessels become enlarged just beneath the skin’s surface. Some causes of enlarged blood vessels on the face include: 

  • Genetics: Certain people are more prone to spider veins due to genetics. Scientists don’t know why, but spider veins tend to run in families. 
  • Increased Risk Due to Aging: Aging, in general, does not cause spider veins. However, those who are predisposed to spider veins may experience more as they age, since the valves in veins tend to get weaker as we age. 
  • Rosacea: Rosacea is a skin condition that causes the skin to be more inflamed and irritated, and it also causes vein dilation. This can sometimes add enough pressure to the small veins in the face to cause spider veins. 
  • Pregnancy: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can sometimes lead to enlarged, broken capillaries. 
  • Sun Damage: Prolonged sun exposure can sometimes lead to broken blood vessels. 
  • Extreme Temperature Changes: Sudden heat increases blood dilation, which can sometimes cause spider veins. 
  • Skin Irritants: If the skincare products you apply to the surface of your skin irritate it, this can cause facial spider veins. 
  • Heavy Alcohol Use: When you occasionally drink alcohol, this may cause your skin to flush due to enlarged blood vessels. When you drink alcohol heavily and/or often, this can lead to permanent spider veins. 
  • Injury: Injuries to the face, including minor injuries like bruising, can sometimes cause enlarged blood vessels. 
  • Sneezing or Vomiting: Strange as it may seem, sneezing and vomiting can both cause spider veins. When you sneeze or vomit, you experience pressure in your face. If this pressure is sudden or extreme, this can break blood vessels in the skin. 

How Do You Treat Spider Veins on the Face? 

Once you have broken blood vessels, they won’t repair themselves. This means that if you want to get rid of spider veins, you’ll need to seek out cosmetic treatment. 

Our top treatment recommendation for spider veins is laser treatments, which can precisely target and treat the blood vessels. Laser vein treatment is a minimally invasive laser treatment that can remove many skin issues, including spider veins, by applying a specialized type of light energy. When used on spider veins, lasers cause the veins to heat up, close and disappear over time. Not all lasers will treat veins, so it’s important to make sure you are being treated with an appropriate laser.

How Do You Prevent Spider Veins on Your Face? 

Since spider veins must be treated to be removed, it’s important to try to prevent spider veins as best you can. While you can’t change your genetics if you’re predisposed to getting spider veins, you can make sure you’re doing your best to avoid things that can increase the risk of getting spider veins. Here are some actions you can take to help prevent spider veins: 

  • Limit Time in the Sun: UV damage can cause spider veins, so limit your time in the sun when possible. Be sure to always wear sunscreen when you are out in the sun. 
  • Wash Your Face With Lukewarm Water: Extreme temperature changes can cause spider veins. So when you wash your face, be sure to use lukewarm water, not hot or cold water. 
  • Drink Alcohol in Moderation: Alcohol consumption, and excessive alcohol consumption in particular, can cause spider veins, so remember to drink alcohol only in moderation (or, even better, avoid it altogether). 
  • Wear Protective Gear: Wearing protective gear (such as helmets and face gear) when you do things like play sports or ride a bicycle can help reduce injuries to the face, which can cause spider veins. 
  • Don’t Pick at Your Skin: Picking at your skin (including popping pimples or blackheads) can sometimes cause minor skin trauma, which can lead to spider veins. If you need some extractions, it’s best to head to a professional who can perform extractions without damaging your skin. 

Spider Vein Treatment in Los Angeles 

If you’re struggling with stubborn spider veins on your face that just won’t seem to go away, make a consultation appointment at the Z Center for Cosmetic Health today. At your consultation appointment, Dr. Zadeh will examine your skin, listen to your cosmetic concerns, and create a customized treatment plan that will best treat your unique spider veins.