The face is often the first thing a person notices when meeting someone new. When blue or reddish facial veins begin to appear, they can alter a person’s appearance and undermine self-confidence. Fortunately, vascular surgeons are able to offer facial vein patients a number of options to eliminate these abnormal blood vessels.
What Are Facial Spider Veins?
Many people do not notice tiny blue or red veins that appear on the face until multiple vessels are finally visible. The medical name for most of these facial vessels is telangiectasia. Their more common name is spider veins. These abnormal blood vessels take their name from their tendency to form a weblike pattern. Some vessels, however, are simply broken capillaries.
Facial spider veins most commonly develop around the nose, chin, and/or cheeks. The University of Nebraska Medical Center notes that by definition, a spider vein has a diameter of less than 2 mm. This contrasts with a varicose vein, which is larger and farther below the skin’s surface. Spider veins most commonly form on the legs. Although they are sometimes painful, physicians do not consider them medically dangerous.
While the cause of facial spider veins remains unknown, genetics appears to play a role in many families. Other potential culprits include:
- Acne, rosacea, or other inflammatory disorders
- Sun exposure
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Treatment Options for Facial Veins
A patient’s initial attempt to hide these veins is often a cover-up product. When such a conservative approach fails to boost self-confidence, the alternative is consulting a vein specialist for advice on treatment options to destroy the unwanted vessels.
Spider vein treatment is an outpatient procedure performed at a vein clinic or other same-day facility. Some individuals require multiple treatments. All the procedures available allow patients to quickly resume their normal daily routines.
Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for spider veins in the legs and is sometimes used to eliminate veins on the face. During this procedure, the physician injects a special substance into each targeted vein, according to Office on Women’s Health. This causes the vein to seal off and eventually disappear.
Two other procedures are more common for treating veins in the face. Many patients benefit from radiofrequency ablation. The Veinwave procedure is a fairly recent development. This technology creates heat that the physician directs through a pencil-like device, thereby avoiding any adverse skin effects. The heat causes the treated spider veins to coagulate, stick together, and collapse. Patients report that discomfort is minimal.
Laser technology is also popular for treating facial spider veins. The technology allows the vein specialist to precisely aim a laser beam at the tiny lines that appear on the face. The laser then sends strong light bursts through the patient’s skin and onto each targeted vein. The vessel fades slowly until it ultimately disappears.