Facial Spider Veins: Causes and Solutions

Facial Spider Veins Causes and SolutionsWhether or not we’ve experienced them ourselves, we’ve all seen unsightly spider veins and varicose veins on legs. Spider veins occur when body weight, gravity and the difficult task of carrying blood from the body’s lower extremities to the heart puts higher pressure on veins. Treatment is available, but spider veins on the legs are relatively easy to hide—but what about spider veins that appear in much less easily concealed areas?

Spider veins are also common on the face, though the factors that cause spider vein development in the face and legs may be very different. To help you avoid the threat of pesky facial spider veins, here’s the lowdown on why they form and how to best avoid the factors that may cause them.

Cause: Sun Exposure

If you have fair skin, or even if you don’t, I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again that sunscreen is a crucial tool in avoiding skin cancer and the pain of sunburn. However, high amounts of sun exposure can also lead to the development of facial spider veins, especially if you have a fair complexion. There’s a widespread notion that tanning will help to hide spider veins by darkening the skin, but this tactic can actually have the opposite effect. The sun’s UV rays break down the collagen that spider vein walls are composed of, causing the veins to get thinner and spread out.

Solution: Sunscreen! Its importance really can’t be overstated. Be sure you have one with an SPF high enough for your complexion and apply it whenever you know you’ll be subjected to prolonged sun exposure. Take special care with your face, which often takes the brunt of sun damage and avoid the tanning bed.

Cause: Rosacea

Sometimes, facial spider veins appear as a symptom of a skin condition known as rosacea, which can also cause redness, inflammation, acne and oily skin on areas of the face. Rosacea is a progressive disorder and may cause some people to develop vascular rosacea, which is the phase in which facial spider veins typically occur. If you notice thin veins and swelling along your cheeks and nose, it may be indicative of rosacea’s development.

Solution: Because the causes of rosacea are still unknown, there are no effective methods of preventing the condition, but there are things you can do to prevent rosacea from flaring up and progressing. Often, rosacea worsens as a result of certain triggers within an individual’s lifestyle like exposure to wind and sun, changes or extremes in temperature, diet, exercise and stress. There’s no catch-all to beating rosacea, so if you’re suffering from the condition the best strategy is to try to identify your own triggers or speak with Dr. Perry about what can be done to prevent the disorder’s progression.

Other Causes

For 80 percent of those who develop spider veins, heredity is the root of the problem, making prevention difficult in many cases. However, these other conditions have also been known to lead to the development of facial spider veins:

  • Steroid use
  • Allergies
  • Use of oral contraceptives
  • Pregnancy
  • Scleroderma
  • Liver disease
  • Lupus
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Excessive coughing or sneezing
  • Traumatic injury to the cheek or nose area

No matter where they appear, spider veins are just downright unpleasant. Avoid these causes to keep your face spider vein free.


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