What Are Spider Veins?


Spider veins are enlarged blood vessels near the skin and are often present on the face especially on the nose and cheeks. Treatment consists of face creams and lasers with lasers usually being the most effective.  One of my friends has a few on the tip of his nose that he is very self conscious about.  Many women I know have them on the sides of their nose and on their cheeks.

One major cause is chronic sun exposure which weakens the collagen of the face which normally helps contain the blood vessels.  Another is flushing.  Some people just flush easily from embarrassment, alcohol and eating.   Another cause can be extreme fluctuations in temperature and over exfoliation of the face with harsh scrubs.  Repeated blood flow fluctuation to the face can weaken blood vessels causing them to enlarge.

How can you treat them?  The various creams available contain ingredients like Vitamin K,  which are said to strengthen the blood vessels but the effect is temporary.  Laser treatment heats the tiny blood vessels and destroys them and is very effective but usually take more than one treatment.  Beware that there may be temporary bruising after the treatment and there can be side effects such as burns and changes in skin pigment especially for those with darker skin.

Lastly, if laser is the treatment of choice, the area lasered has to be shielded from the sun or they will come back.  It is possibly better not to undertake in the summer.  Wait for fall, when the tan has faded and there is less desire to sunbathe.

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