Spider veins are a result of dilation of tiny veins beneath the skin. In medical terms, spider veins are also known as telangiectasia or broken capillaries. They appear like a red and blue-colored spider's web. They are visible clearly on a fair patch of skin. Spider veins on face are mostly seen on the cheeks and nose.
Causes of Spider Veins
The reason for occurrence of spider veins is the weakening of one-way valves present in the veins that carry oxygen-depleted blood from various parts of the body to the heart. These valves are present to prevent the back flow of oxygen-depleted blood. Due to the weakened valves, the blood that is supposed to move towards the heart, flows back into the veins, thus pooling there and causing the vein to inflate. Few causes of spider veins are hormonal imbalance, trauma, heredity, puberty, consumption of birth control pills, pregnancy, etc. The above factors indicate that although spider veins are found in both men and women, the ratio of its occurrence in women is much higher than men. The development of spider veins on the face, especially on cheeks or nose is mainly due to acne rosacea, sun exposure, excess cold, radiation exposure, etc.
Treatment Methods for Spider Veins on Face
There are many ways by which the spider vein problem can be treated. Spider vein is not very dangerous and does not cause any physical harm. In fact, when the part where they exist gets too stressed due to any reason, that patch of skin experiences a burning sensation, itching or pain. Depending on the location, there are few external treatments available for spider veins. Sclerotherapy is said to be an effective treatment procedure for spider veins. However, since this process includes injecting a fluid in the veins through a needle, it is mostly avoided in case of spider veins on face. This method is mostly used on large spider veins.
Laser energy coagulates and shrinks the spider veins. Laser therapy is found to be effectual for medium and small size spider veins. Since the spider veins on the face are of small to medium size, laser treatment is used for treating them. You may experience slight pain during the process. The spider veins may appear darker after treatment, which should not be a reason for panic, since it eventually fades away in two to six weeks.
Electrodesiccation eliminates the spider veins by passing electric current. The electric current causes the spider veins to swell, shut and shrivel away. This process may prove tricky, specially for the face as it may leave scar marks on the face due to the electric current.
Intense Pulsed Light
Intense pulsed light is one of the photorejuvenation techniques. The spider veins that are hidden deep under the skin are eliminated using this method. For this, selective photothermolysis process is used, in which the light focused on the skin penetrates the veins causing them to absorb the light energy and become heated. Correct amount of energy shrivels the veins. The veins are then moved to the surface and sclerotherapy is used for further treatment.
The above methods can be used for all skin types. Around 60% to 90% spider veins fade out permanently. However, they may recur if the reasons causing them prevail. Spider veins can be effectively treated by the above-mentioned methods. Side effects of these treatments such as temporary bruising, inflammation, discoloration of skin or brown lines or spots in the treatment area can be avoided if the right precautions are taken.
It is said that prevention is better than cure, and this is completely applicable on spider veins. One has to be careful to exercise regularly, maintain healthy weight, prevent excessive exposure to the sunlight, and follow a proper diet to avoid spider veins. In case of other areas, one is also supposed to avoid tight clothes or standing or sitting in one position for a long time. Make sure you use a sunscreen when going out in the Sun. Spider veins are not harmful for your body, they are just not very pleasing to the eyes.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.