Among the many skin changes people notice as they age, one of the most disturbing may be the fine, red lines they begin to see on their noses, chins or cheeks, often by the time they reach age 30. These broken blood vessels or capillaries, also known as spider veins, or telangiectasias, are tiny vessels that are visible just beneath the skin’s surface. While not painful, they are often disconcerting since they can create large, unsightly red areas on the face. Sometimes people with these prominent veins are mistaken for alcohol abusers.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, slightly more than half of American women and up to 45 percent of men suffer from some form of a vein problem, accounting for millions of Americans. Spider veins are caused by several factors. These include aging, pregnancy, childbirth, birth control pills, estrogen replacement therapy, sun damage and Rosacea. Fortunately, there are in-office treatments that your dermatologist can perform to remove these facial veins and improve your appearance.
The first defense against spider veins on your face is through constant and consistent protection from the damaging rays of the sun. Excess sun exposure over many years has numerous negative effects on the skin, including the development of tiny red lines or spider veins.
If spider veins become bothersome, they can be treated in your dermatologist’s office. Laser therapy is the preferred means of removing spider veins on the face and has been the gold standard for the past 20 years. The veins selectively absorb the laser’s wavelengths of light; this light destroys the blood vessels and restores the skin’s natural appearance. Laser treatment is quick, safe and the results are immediate.
Smaller veins on the face typically require only a single laser treatment that lasts about 10-15 minutes. Some people may choose to have a topical anesthetic or ice applied to the area being treated to reduce possible discomfort. Side effects are few and include temporary discoloration of the site, blistering, crusting, redness or occasional bruising. A key benefit is that laser treatment targets only the broken blood vessels and not the surrounding skin.
Most people are quite pleased with their appearance following laser treatment. In fact, there are multiple lasers to treat spider veins and there is an 80 – 90 % chance for a greatly improved appearance with laser treatment. However, even after treatment new ones can and may appear.
Following are some questions to consider when thinking about treating spider veins on the face:
- Does the redness cause me to feel embarrassed about the way I look?
- Do I have spider veins or is the redness caused by another condition, such as Rosacea, melanoma or something else?
- Do people ever ask you if you drink a lot? They may think that your face is red because you are drunk.
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, or if you simply have a concern about some change to the skin on your face, it is recommended that you schedule a visit with your Board-certified dermatologist, who knows your health history and can recommend the best ways to care for your skin and treat your specific conditions.
Spider Veins Bugging You? Contact Us Today!
Spider veins do not have to be tolerated. If you are experiencing spider veins, contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss treatment options. At Advanced Dermatology, PC, our board-certified dermatologists are experts at diagnosing and treating spider veins and other skin conditions. Our ten conveniently located offices welcome patients from Queens (Bayside, Flushing), Long Island – Nassau/Suffolk (Roslyn/Albertson, West Islip, Commack, East Setauket), New York City, Westchester County, Bergen County, NJ, Union County, NJ, and all surrounding areas.