Solutions for Broken Blood Vessels on the Face

Dermatology specialists Drs. Joshua Fox and Meryl Becker Joerg explain “telangiectasias”

broken blood vesselsHave you ever wondered why your face is peppered with tiny red lines? These broken blood vessels affect millions – especially as age creeps up – and don’t typically go away on their own. However, they can be treated quickly and effectively by a dermatologist, according to Joshua Fox, MD, medical director of Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser & Cosmetic Surgery.

Is the Redness on Your Face Rosacea?

Dermatologist Joshua Fox, MD Offers Tips for Understanding Rosacea Symptoms and Treatment Alternatives

Red splotches, facial flushing, unsightly bumps and pimples, bloodshot, watery eyes and even swelling of the nose are all symptoms which often fall under a general diagnosis of rosacea. But how is it possible to know for sure if these symptoms are truly caused by rosacea, or if it’s simply a case of allergies or sensitive skin? According to Dr. Joshua Fox, founder and director of New York and New Jersey-based Advanced Dermatology P.C., “Estimates for the total number of rosacea sufferers in the United States vary from 14 to 16 million, and the reason for this broad range is that many people who suffer from the disease don’t understand that there are treatment options available for them. They don’t seek help and therefore are never diagnosed. Also most patients don’t seek help because they don’t realize that it often involves the eyes”

Tips for understanding Rosacea

Rosacea is a little-understood condition that afflicts people of all ethnicities, but seems particularly prevalent in people with a Northern European background. Some well-known rosacea sufferers include Princess Diana and former president Bill Clinton. It typically presents in women over 30 and men over 40, and symptoms can come out of nowhere, sometimes seemingly popping up overnight. It causes not just physical but emotional damage to its sufferers as they battle unpredictable flare-ups of unsightly break-outs on their faces which can sometimes get even worse as a result of the products used to cover them up. “Even the stress of contending with a flare-up before an important event, such as a wedding or a job interview, can worsen the condition and extend the duration of it. Left untreated, it’s a vicious cycle and it can go into the eyes,” says Dr. Fox.

Research has shown that varying strains of rosacea may be caused by immune or nervous system irregularities, excess production of cathelicidin (a protein found in the skin,) excessive systemic levels of Vitamin D, and demodex mites on the surface of the skin. If a dermatologist is able to isolate the probable cause of the rosacea symptoms, it is then possible to determine the most effective method of treatment.

Rosacea Treatment Alternatives

So what’s the best course of action for someone who thinks they may have rosacea? “The first step is to see your dermatologist for a diagnosis,” Dr. Fox continues. “We believe there are several types of rosacea which are promoted by various factors, and it’s helpful to determine the underlying triggers before deciding on a course of treatment.” The following are treatment options for consideration. Each case is unique and a skilled dermatologist will advise patients on the alternatives for their particular situation.

  • Oral antibiotics, including doxycycline (effective for immune system and cathelicidin-based rosacea)
  • Non-Ablative Laser therapy (which can seal off dilated blood vessels, reducing the severity and duration of a flare-up and lessen background redness and swelling)
  • Topical treatments such as azelaic acid and metronidazole (which kill the bacteria that infect the pores)
  • Specialized skin care programs with sulfacetamide, precipitated sulfur and other agents which are formulated specifically for rosacea sufferers.
  • Demodectic Powder such as Moo Goo (a mineral blend treatment creates an environment on the skin where the demodex mites can no longer survive)
  • Appropriate Vitamin D levels (which may tie into the fact that rosacea is aggravated by sun exposure)
  • Ablative laser therapy can shrink and smooth out the bumps on the nose (Rhynuphema)
  • Surgery (in extreme cases, surgery may be needed to remove excess blood vessels and/or repair nose disfigurement caused by untreated rosacea)

Observe Triggers

Once a path of treatment has been determined, rosacea sufferers can also take steps to control the severity and frequency of flare-ups simply by being observant of the stimuli that seem to trigger them. Common triggers include: sun exposure, hot and cold temperature extremes, emotional stress, hormonal changes, cigarette smoking, alcohol, and spicy foods. Patients should also take great care not to use any soaps or cosmetics that might contain irritating ingredients, and they should never use loofahs or other harsh cleansing products.

While there is currently no cure for rosacea, there are many options to lessen its severity. “Sufferers should do everything they can to pinpoint and track the triggers which lead to flare-ups, concludes Dr. Fox. “This information can help their doctor determine the best plan of action to mitigate symptoms and keep flare-ups to a minimum.”

Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D., is the founder and medical director at Advanced Dermatology P.C. He is a leading authority in the field of dermatology with expertise in skin cancer, cosmetic surgery and laser procedures and is program director of a fellowship in laser and cosmetic surgery.

Lasers Improve Complexions – Treating Broken Blood Vessels and Redness

The face has an extensive network of fine red veins and tiny blood vessels called capillaries that are commonly located on the nose, cheeks or chin. By age 30, many people begin to notice that these capillaries can break and become unsightly tiny, spidery blood vessels, red streaks or blotches on the face. Laser therapy can eliminate damaged veins and capillaries by removing virtually all traces of these unsightly blood vessels.

broken blood vessels

“Laser treatment successfully treats and removes broken facial blood vessels safely, easily and effectively with excellent long term results,” says Joshua Fox, MD, founder of Advanced Dermatology and a spokesman for the American Academy of Dermatology. “Millions of people are affected by facial capillaries that break and they want to get rid of these unattractive and embarrassing distractions to their natural beauty.” Many people consider red blotches on their face or nose to be suggestive use of alcohol intake. Thereby falsely labeling people who have these red lesions.

What causes broken facial blood vessels and redness?

Common causes for broken facial veins and redness include: aging, prolonged sun exposure, pregnancy, childbirth, oral contraceptives, estrogen replacement therapy and heredity. Diffuse redness is a result of dilated capillaries — the appearance is more general redness then well-defined blood vessels. Diffuse redness is often associated with rosacea — a treatable skin condition characterized by redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead, or visible blood vessels, bumps or pimples on the face. More women have rosacea then men and it often affects fair-skinned people especially those from Celtic or Northern European extraction. The National Rosacea Society estimates that there are 14 million people with rosacea nationwide.

How lasers treat facial veins and redness

Dr. Fox notes that visible broken facial blood vessels are removed with a laser using light absorbed by the blood that destroys the vessel. After some time, the vessel disappears restoring the skin’s natural appearance. Lasers allow for quick treatment of broken blood vessels without any damage to the surrounding skin. The laser gently penetrates the skin without affecting the outer layers, meaning there’s a much shorter healing time or none at all.

Lasers are safe and effective — they can be tailored to an individual condition and skin type. Some patients say that the sensation of a laser treatment is akin to the snapping of a small rubber band against the skin. Some people choose to have a topical anesthesia or ice applied to the area of the face being treated.

Each treatment usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Small veins/capillaries may require a single treatment for repair. Veins that are larger or darker may require multiple treatments for improvement and not reach full repair. Treatments are spaced at 4-to-6 week intervals.

“Lasers offer natural looking improvement for successfully treating broken blood vessels and redness without injuring the surrounding healthy facial skin,” says Dr. Fox. “Patients can immediately return to normal activities but they must apply sunscreen on the treated area.” A side benefit of the laser is it seems to stimulate collagen and give the face more of a “glow” appearance.

What to Expect At The Consultation for Facial Vein Laser Treatment

The experts in skin care and related laser treatments are board-certified dermatologists — surgeons who have received extensive education, training and passed a certifying examination given by the American Board of Dermatology. Some are members of laser society like the American society of Laser Surgery. Dr. Fox says that using lasers to treat facial broken blood vessels and redness is a safe and fairly simple treatment. He advises that patients need to discuss with their dermatologist expectations and projected outcomes based on their specific skin problem. During the initial consultation, patients can ask the physician to share before and after photos of patients who had a similar condition and treatment.

The dermatologist will need to know how long a patient has had problems with facial veins and if they have had any prior skin treatments on their face. The physician will take a patient’s complete medical history — including asking about any medical problems or if they are taking any medications. Certain systematic diseases like Lupus Erythematosis need to be ruled out.

Tips For Protecting Your Skin

As most of us age, we begin to see signs of skin damage caused by the sun appearing in our complexion. The best way to protect your skin is by avoiding prolonged sun exposure and use sunscreen with an SPF 30 with UVA and UVB protection or higher on a daily basis. “You are lowering your possibility of developing skin cancer and reducing the suns premature aging process by applying sunscreen protection daily and not just when you are at the beach or pool,” says Dr. Fox. Dr. Fox advises that there is not such thing as a healthy tan — a tan is the skin’s response to the sun’s damaging rays. Also, the UV radiation emitted by indoor tanning lamps is many times more intense than natural sunlight. Dangers include burns, premature aging of the skin, and the increased risk of skin cancer. The next best protection from the sun is a high SPF rating that does not come off with sweaty or vigorous exercise and protective gear like a sunshade.