Dilated facial veins, also known as “spider veins”, is a common benign skin disorder. The widened blood vessels give the appearance of fine, easy visible, threadlike red lines or patterns that appear just beneath the skin surface. It grows gradually and is often seen in clusters. Spider veins are generally seen on areas frequently exposed to sunlight, like the cheeks and the nose. The causes that enlarge these blood vessels are unknown. There is a genetic predisposition, aggravated by sun damage, extreme heat or cold. Patients more likely to develop spider veins include those who:
- work or play outdoors;
- are older, as your blood vessels begin to weaken and spider veins are more likely to form as skin ages;
- use health and beauty products that cause skin irritation, such as abrasive soaps and sponges;
- use corticosteroids and some skin products which thins and weakens the skin;
- drink too much alcohol, which increases the flow of blood in vessels; andare affected with diseases like rosacea, scleroderma, dermatomyositis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Many patients find their dilated facial veins unattractive and want to have them removed. Treatment is done to improve your skin’s appearance. I treat dilated facial veins using a 577 nm Pro Yellow pulse dye laser. This laser is specially designed to target the widened blood vessel, forcing its walls to collapse. This reduces the appearance of the red marks or patterns on the skin. Widespread and persistent facial flushing which give the face a ‘ruddy’ complexion is caused by many tiny dilated broken facial veins. This condition requires treatment with the Pro Yellow laser scanner which carefully and precisely seals the many dilated blood vessels in the skin.
Treatment with the Pro Yellow laser is painless and takes 5 to 15 minutes. There is no recovery period required and you can continue with your daily activities without interruption. However, to reduce new spider veins from forming, it is good practice to protect your skin from excessive sun exposure and extreme temperatures.