Varicose veins of the face, most commonly spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, are small dilated blood vessels, 0.5-1 mm in diameter. These will occur near the surface of the skin, and are often seen on the face, around the nose, cheek, and chin. They will most often be red or pink in color. These do not pose a health risk, but may reflect an underlying medical issue, but most of the time these are just a cosmetic nuisance.
The causes of these spider veins may be due to congenital or acquired factors. Of the congenital causes the list would include a port wine stain, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome), as well as others that are beyond the scope of this blog. Of the acquired causes, the more common reasons are acne rosacea, environmental damage caused by prolonged sun or cold exposure, pregnancy, or perhaps an underlying liver abnormality.
Treatment of spider veins of the face, is most often accomplished with localized treatment, and can be accomplished with the use of thermocoagulation with Vein-Gogh (ohmic thermolysis), using a very fine needle to deliver radiofrequency current into the vein thus sealing the vein. Use of lasers, most commonly IPL is also a viable treatment option. Sclerotherapy, the most common treatment option for spider veins of the lower extremities, is not recommended in the area of the face.
Any of the treatment options listed above will be successful in the treatment of the spider veins; however, they will not prevent the development of new spider veins in the area. To prevent new vein development, using SPF creams prior to prolonged sun or cold exposure would be of great benefit. Perhaps, as mentioned in a previous blog, increasing flavonoid intake in the diet may be of benefit to strengthen blood vessel walls. If there is an underlying medical condition as the source of these veins, that issue should be addressed under the care of your medical doctor.
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