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What Causes Broken Blood Vessels in the Face?

Posted in Laser Treatments on December 2nd

Broken blood vessels go by a number of different names, including broken capillaries, spider veins, and telangiectasia rosacea. These broken blood vessels are not dangerous, but no matter what they are called, they are never welcome and can cause self-consciousness and distress in those who suffer from them. Unfortunately, the many tiny veins in the face can be damaged easily, and once this damage has occurred, the problem will not resolve itself over time. But what factors can cause blood vessels to break, and what can be done to treat them?

Causes of Broken Capillaries

Broken capillaries and spider veins are caused by over-dilation of the facial blood vessels, and can be triggered by a number of factors, including:

  • Rosacea, a common and chronic skin condition which causes redness, broken blood vessels, and bumps on the face
  • Constant exposure to heat
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Excessive alcohol consumption over a long period of time
  • Facial trauma
  • High blood pressure
  • Pregnancy (hormone trigger)


The best way to prevent broken blood vessels in the face is to take care of your skin. Here are some ways to help prevent these vessels from forming:

  • Be conscientious about preventing sun exposure. Use sunscreen and avoid exposing your skin to direct sunlight.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Over time, this can cause the vessels to dilate too much and break.
  • Be gentle when washing your face or otherwise caring for your facial skin.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to prevent broken blood vessels. Here are some reasons you could develop the problem despite your best efforts:

  • Genetics. Though anyone can develop facial capillaries, they tend to run in families. If your parents have struggled with broken blood vessels, chances are good that you will too.
  • Age. As you age, the skin thins and veins are more visible. In addition, skin quality deteriorates over the years, and the veins have suffered minor but ongoing trauma and exposure.

Treatment Options

The best way to treat facial capillaries is with a pulsed dye laser (V-Beam is an example). While these lasers cannot get rid of every single vein, they can provide significant improvement after a number of treatments, spaced a few months apart. Sometimes, a combination of laser treatments is appropriate, depending on the needs of the patient. While this type of laser treatment is non-invasive and does not require anesthesia, there is often some swelling associated with the procedure that can last a few days.

The Best Care Available

Though you may think laser treatments are a simple procedure that nearly any medical professional is qualified to administer, the truth is that successful laser treatment for broken blood vessels requires a skilled and experienced provider. For best results, you should seek treatment with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist. For the best in facial skin care, consider meeting with acclaimed plastic surgeon Dr. Stuart Bentkover of Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), Massachusetts. Dr. Bentkover offers a wide range of facial procedures and plastic surgeries, and is highly skilled in performing complex laser treatments.

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