Broken capillaries

Broken capillaries is a problem with the tiny blood vessels that become visible near the surface of the skin and usually appear as streaks or blotches. They are commonly known as spider veins because of their tree branch, or spider web-like, shape. Broken capillaries appear close to the skin surface and can be identified by their red or blue color.

There are tiny and delicate veins just under the skin that are responsible for the blood circulation in the face. When the walls of these veins narrow and widen suddenly, breakage may occur. Some of these ruptured blood vessels cannot repair themselves or go back to their normal thickness without some kind of treatment. Spider veins can be found around the nose, cheeks and mouth, on the neck, as well as the upper chest and legs.

There are two types of broken blood vessels. The first kind is the fairly common bruising that takes the form of a purplish skin swelling. It is usually caused by some form of trauma to the skin and disappears in a couple of weeks without any treatment. The second is a blood spot that occurs just beneath the skin surface and looks like a red-colored spreading of cells. This can be caused by a number of factors, such as malnutrition, disease and other  problems that traumatize the body and the immune system.

People with fair skin are more prone to having broken capillaries, or telangiectasia, than people with a dark or olive complexion. People with dry and dehydrated skin, as well as very sensitive skin, have thinner and less protected layers of tissue, thus making them more susceptible to this problem.

  • Causes – There are several causes of broken capillaries.
  • Trauma – Any form of trauma or injury to the skin can rupture blood vessels. Examples are wounds, skin surgery or intense cosmetic treatments. Pressure applied on your nose due to glasses can also be a contributing factor.
  • Old age – As we become older, the collagen and elastin in our skin become weaker because they are not replenished as quickly. This, among other factors, causes the skin to become thinner and the veins are more noticeable. This also causes skin to lose flexibility and it gets bruised easily. Broken blood vessels are common in old age, however blood spots are not, and people of all age groups are equally vulnerable to them.
  • Genetics – It is possible that, if your grandparents and parents have broken capillaries on face or arms, you may have them too. It is not certain that you’ll develop the problem, but your chances are higher.
  • Hormones – People who are going through hormonal changes may experience spider veins as their body tries to adjust. This is the reason why broken capillaries on face and arms are more common in women than in men. Examples of periods of hormonal changes are puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
  • Environment – Environmental factors like sunburns, windburns or extremely cold conditions can lead to broken capillaries. Sunlight is known to aggravate this problem, therefore always use sunscreen before going out in the sun. Also moving from one extreme temperature area to another in a short period of time can be a contributing factor. If change in temperature is the causing factor in your case, you should stay away from saunas or very hot showers.
  • Medical conditions – Rosacea is a condition that makes the skin red and flushed. People who suffer from Rosacea tend to also suffer from broken capillaries on face and arms, especially around the nose and eye areas. Liver damage can also cause this condition.

There are several ingredients used in over-the-counter products that can be used to treat broken capillaries. A combination of ingredients in high concentrations is needed to effectively treat broken capillaries. If you’re worried about broken capillaries, you probably have fragile skin. We recommend using a skin care program that will strengthens the capillary walls and regenerate the skin to a denser quality.

You should not scrub your face if you have broken blood vessel as it can cause them to spread. A salicylic acid based product can be used to remove dead cells. A dermatologist can suggest to you a treatment procedure that will work well for your situation, depending on the cause and extent of your broken capillaries.

In summary, we recommend using products that will strengthen the skin, capillaries, and restore denser skin.

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  1. Grant

    I just moved to the desert from the Northwest and have only been here a few weeks so far. After two weeks, I started to notice broken blood vessels on my nose, my face was flushed, and kind of burned. It is noticeably dryer here as well as warm but I’ve been using an extra sensitive moisturizer with spf in it and a natural face wash. In the last couple of weeks, I have noticed more around my cheeks and under my eyes. I haven’t changed my skin care regimen so the only thing I can think of is the heat. My face is also starting to look patchy. Has anyone experienced this with change in weather and does it go away? I grew up in the desert and never had this problem so I’m concerned that it might be a bigger health issue or maybe my skin is just more sensitive now? I’d appreciate any feedback. I can’t really afford expensive treatment and am hesitant to do it if it’s going to continue while I’m here (next few months). But it’s starting to become ugly and noticeable and I’d be more than happy to try something easy on my skin that’s affordable.

  2. Johanna

    I suffer from broken capillaries around the eyes. They make my face look really ugly. I feel very conscious when someone looks at me. The worst thing is that they can’t be concealed with any amount of makeup. I have read the causes of broken capillaries and I think it’s not caused due to sun exposure. I think it’s due to some hormonal problem. Whatever may be the cause, I just want to get rid of them as soon as possible. I have purchased broken capillaries treatment serum and a broken capillaries treatment cream. I came across a website where I found some free samples for treating this problem. I ordered a few samples and used them for a while. They were really helpful and so I purchased the cream and serum. I’m also using a sunscreen daily now, so that sun damage doesn’t damage my face further.

  3. MB72

    I have liver disease and have started to form obvious broken capillaries on my face , all over my legs and now on my chest, which is something doctors check for everytime i see heptologist.
    Will anything get rid of these when I go through treatment and rid my body of this disabling disease ? I am on disability and cannot afford IPL but i do not recognize myself. I am sure it is not from age but my liver. Anyone else have this from Liver problems? I do know I can heal from the underlying issues but is there any hope that I can get rid of these after i clear my liver disease or are they going to remain forever ?

  4. Kelsey

    I can see some broken capillaries under my eyes. I want to know how to remove broken capillaries. I have already suffered from broken capillaries on the nose. Broken capillaries make my face look absolutely ugly and I want to get rid of them as soon as possible. As of now, I apply a thin layer of foundation on my face to hide the marks. I don’t know what might be the cause of these. I don’t think it’s a hereditary problem. I think it’s a hormonal problem.

  5. Brittany

    I think I have broken capillaries. I can see some bluish purple veins on my cheeks most probably these are broken facial capillaries. I want to know what causes broken capillaries. I eat a healthy diet. My weight is good for my height and I take good care of my skin too. The appearance of these veins on the face makes me look very ugly and many people keep staring at my face. It is really embarrassing. I want to find out the best way to repair broken capillaries so that I can make my face look better.

  6. Madelyn

    I have broken capillaries on my face. I had seen the appearance of broken capillaries but I ignored them for a long time. I wonder what caused them. I searched online and saw the causes but I don’t think any of them has caused it in my case. Now my broken capillaries need immediate treatment. I just don’t know what to do. I have asked many people but nobody seems to know the perfect solution to this. I consulted a dermatologist and he advised me to go in for a laser treatment for broken capillaries. The worst part is that no amount of makeup can conceal the spider like blood vessels.
    I’m planning to take a second opinion from another dermatologist and ask him about the other possibilities for the treatment of this condition.

  7. Carrie

    I had never seen broken capillaries and not seen them till I met Jane. She had broken capillaries in her eyes. I wanted to know what causes broken capillaries in eyes. I searched for it online and found that mostly people with fair skin are prone to broken capillaries. Jane tried OCM for her broken capillaries and got some relief. Then someone told her about the olive oil facial clean. It helped her a lot and she just loved the way her skin had started to look.

  8. Anonymous

    I was told that extreme sports causes broken capillaries on the face, and my dermatologist advised me that lasers can eradicate the problem. It costs $700 for the full face and you need around 3 treatments. I am having my first treatment next Thursday. I hope this information helps.

  9. Anonymous

    I have had success using ipl for broken capillaries on face. Most clinics have this. I was having laser hair removal done and the girl asked me if I wanted them gone. It took fifteen minutes and they disappeared by the next morning. The treatment cost $700 and she mentioned I will only need 2-3 treatments per month.

  10. BC

    When it comes to broken capillaries do not use laser as it is just vaporizing the capillaries but can cause more capillaries to burt in the future because it will make the skin more fragile. This is why you just see a short term results. Sneezing actually causes broken capillaries but they come up after a few damage. Same thing with laser. It might sound hard to believe but the trauma causes the broken capillaries so you will have to keep going back to fix what the laser did.

  11. Wise

    Gentleyag is an older laser that strengthens the capillaries. Dermatologists use it for Rosacea. I’ve had IPL done and that works well on broken capillaries. You should also use Vitamin K topically to help strengthen the skin. Somebody else recommended that on this blog and I have been doing this for the last 8 months.

  12. Virginia

    I’ve heard that the gentleyag yag is really good for broken capillaries. Has anybody seen results from this procedure? I tried ipl but like the lady above I saw results right away but the capillaries came back after a few weeks. I think the gentleyag strengthens the capillaries so they don’t keep coming up on the surface of the skin. That is my non medical understanding of how the gentleyag works. Would love to hear your thoughts on this procedure.

  13. Jennifer

    Yes ipl will get rid of broken capillaries but if you dont take care of your skin they will appear again. I had small red spots on my cheeks and had a photo facial which is another name for ipl and they were all gone the next morning. Two of them are back 3 months later. I have also had luck with skin care products that strenghten the skin. Vitamin k for example is very good for this.

  14. Anita

    I have tiny broken capillaries on face and nose. We frequently sail in windy conditions and I notice that I always seems to worsen things. I have had ipl treatment before and it works but they always come back.

    Can you recommend any skin care products that will prevent broken capillaries on face?

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