Can I fix the spider veins on my face and body?

2 weeks ago 49

Updated

Apr 02, 2024, 12:30 PM

Published

Apr 02, 2024, 12:30 PM

I have noticed some red, squiggly blood vessels just under the skin of my cheeks and around my nose. What are they and is it possible to get rid of them?

Those tiny blood vessels that typically crop up around your nose, cheeks or chin are common, dermatologists say. They are called telangiectasias – or, informally, spider veins, because they “look like spider webs”, said Dr Amy Huang, a dermatologist in New York City.

Telangiectasias are small dilated blood vessels that have become damaged and are visible just under the skin’s surface. They often appear on the face, but can occur anywhere on the body, including the legs.

They are not harmful, said Dr Mitchel Goldman, a dermatologist in San Diego who specialises in vein treatments, adding: “They just look unsightly.”

Though the veins are tiny, measuring only about 1mm in diameter (about the width of a sharpened pencil point), he said, they might be so displeasing that you want to remove them.

Fortunately, spider veins can be treated with the help of a dermatologist.

What causes spider veins?

Sun damage is the No. 1 cause of spider veins on your face, Dr Goldman said.

Sun exposure destroys the coating that surrounds all blood vessels, known as the internal elastic lamina, which he compared to plastic wrap. When the coating is destroyed, it causes blood vessels to expand and become visible just under the skin.

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can also interfere with the skin’s cellular repair process and cause the skin’s tissue to break down, making spider veins more visible, said Dr Stephen Warren, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in New York City.

Your face is most susceptible to spider veins simply because it is usually not covered up and it tends to get more sun exposure th...

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