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How are small, red veins on the face treated?

I have tiny red veins spreading on my nose and under my eyes. I thought they were spider veins, but my friend said they were broken blood vessels. What is the difference and what is the cure for these?

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Doctors Answers (3)

Spider veins and rosacea of the face can be treated with any of several different vascular lasers, and very small spider veins respond well to intense pulsed light treatment (also IPL and used in photofacials). Some of the spider veins are small blood vessels and some are damaged capillaries. You may need a single treatment or may require several visits. The response is usually very good. Do not think of this as a "cure" for spider veins on the face which have resulted from sun damage and chronic small mechanical traumas such as rubbing the skin or blowing your nose. Consider wearing sunscreen daily to reduce the appearance of new spider veins.

Small, red veins in the upper layers of the skin of the face are enlarging veins often associated with sun exposure or aging of the skin. The primary way to minimize development of the facial veins is to limit ultraviolet exposure of the facial skin with sun block and hats. These veins can be treated either with injections of a sclerosant solution with tiny needles or sealing of these veins with a tiny needle utilizing a mild electric current (Ohmic thermolysis).

Spider veins and "broken" vessels on the face are the same thing and are best treated with the right laser. These are partly genetic and made worse by sun and wind exposure. Those with rosacea can also develop these as part of the inflammatory process. We always recommend sunscreen which contains at least 10 percent zinc daily summer and winter. Reapply as necessary. A skin care regime which helps reduce inflammation such as Epionce is helpful long term. If the veins are diffuse (very fine over the whole area) these can be treated with laser genesis and/or intense pulsed light, sometimes in the same treatment. If they are more defined especially around the nose, cheeks and chin, a yag laser can be effective or a diode such as Dornier. We have a lot of success with the Dornier 940. Again ensuring sun/wind protection, wearing a hat and reducing inflammation will help with long term control.

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