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Broken blood vessels on the face

Broken blood vessels on the face

Spider veins on the face can occur with some health conditions like rosacea and due to environmental exposure to the sun or other skin irritants. Spider veins are commonly found on the face or legs, though they may appear anywhere on the body. Other than their appearance, spider veins do not cause any other symptoms.


As mentioned, aging can lead to facial veins. Other factors can also cause facial veins including the following:

Sun damage

Sun exposure is one of the most common causes of facial veins. Staying in the sun without sunscreen or having sunburns can enlarge and dilate your blood vessels. When your skin experiences sun damage, the top layer of the skin can peel and make the blood vessels directly under the skin more visible.

Extreme pressure

Extreme pressure on your face, whether from vigorous washing, popping a pimple, sneezing, vomiting, or facial injuries, can damage delicate capillaries and make them dilate. Other external factors, such as environmental or chemical irritants, wind, or extreme temperature changes can also damage these sensitive blood vessels.

Drinking alcohol

Alcohol consumption can dilate blood vessels temporarily. Frequent drinking can dilate the blood vessels for longer periods and cause a flushed appearance.


If you have family members who have facial veins, you have a higher chance of getting them.

Medical conditions

Having certain medical conditions, such as rosacea, liver disease, and lupus can also increase your risk of facial veins.

High estrogen levels

Having a high level of estrogen, which occurs during pregnancy can also result in broken blood vessels. The extra blood volume that occurs at this time can cause extra pressure in the capillaries, which can make them susceptible to dilating.


You may be able to identify broken blood vessels at home, but you may consider seeing your doctor for confirmation. They can also point you in the right direction in treatments. If you have numerous spider veins, your doctor may recommend prescriptions or outpatient care solutions.

For causes of underlying health conditions like rosacea, you’ll want to see your doctor. In such cases, the treatment for broken blood vessels is dependent on addressing the underlying causes.


When natural home remedies don’t work, it may be time to see a doctor for a medical solution for spider veins. Among the options are:


Retinoid creams are used for many skin conditions, and a doctor may recommend retinoids for some people with spider veins. Retinoids may help reduce the visibility of the veins and boost the health of the skin. However, they may also dry out the skin and cause itching and redness when applied.

Intense pulsed light therapy

Intense pulsed light therapy scatters the energy across a larger targeted area, treating a broader section of skin at one time. The light penetrates the second layer of skin to destroy the damaged blood vessels without harming the top layer. 

As the treated blood vessels are heated, they disintegrate and are naturally removed by your body. The effect is gentler than laser therapy and requires little to no downtime.

Laser therapy

If your facial veins are more severe, they may require stronger treatment with laser vein therapy. Laser vein therapy directs an intense, targeted beam of light to irritate the walls of a damaged vein, causing the veins to collapse. Laser therapy delivers more dramatic results in fewer sessions than IPL treatment, though the stronger laser treatment typically requires a longer recovery time because it damages the outer layer of the skin. 

Home remedies

  • Avoiding using hot water
  • Cold compress
  • Arnica oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Witch hazel
  • Aloe vera
  • Vitamin C
  • herbs

When to see a doctor

Spider veins cause no harm or additional symptoms. People who are bothered by the appearance of spider veins can try to determine the direct cause and take steps to avoid it. Experiencing broken blood vessels on the face is a common cosmetic issue. Many medical treatments and home remedies may help reduce or eliminate the problem, in addition to promoting overall skin health.

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