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Identifying and Treating Spider Veins on the Face

spider veins on woman's face

Spider veins don’t just affect the legs. Here’s what you need to know about treating spider veins on the face.

Many people think that spider veins — or as, dermatologists call them, telangiectasia — only appear in the legs. However, this condition can also affect the face, especially around the mouth and nose. Though they may look similar to the spider veins that affect the lower half of the body, their causes are very different. Read on to learn more about why spider veins occur on the face – and what can be done about them.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are small, dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin that are red or blue in color. Their name comes from the fact that they tend to look like spider webs or tree branches. They can develop anywhere, but are most often seen in the legs and face.

In the lower body, spider veins are essentially an extension of varicose veins. Varicose veins occur when the force of gravity that opposes the return of blood from the legs to the heart becomes too much and overwhelms the one-way valves that are inside the veins. This results in twisty and bulging varicose veins and smaller spider veins near the skin’s surface. 
But gravity isn’t a problem for blood that is coming back from the head on it’s way to the heart. In fact, for those veins gravity actually helps. So, spider veins on the face can’t have the same cause as lower body spider veins, since venous stasis and valve failure isn’t as much of a problem above the heart. In that case, why do spider veins often occur on the face?

Causes of Upper Body Spider Veins

Unlike those in the legs, spider veins on the face aren’t typically associated with underlying venous disease. Instead there are several other causes to consider. For example, spider veins often occur as part of a set of related diseases known as CREST syndrome, which is believed to be an autoimmune disorder. It stands for Calcinosis, Reynaud’s syndrome, Esophageal dysmotility, Scleroderma and, of course, Telangiectasia (spider veins). 

Additionally, spider veins are sometimes associated with environmental damage like sun or cold exposure, as well as conditions like acne rosacea. They can also be a side effect of cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Regardless of cause, they tend to become more common as people age.

Treatments for Facial Spider Veins

Spider veins on the face can be unsightly, but fortunately there are several treatment options available to patients. The most common solution is laser therapy. During these procedures, the doctor uses a laser to close off the damaged vein so that blood can no longer flow through it. The vein still remains in place, but is no longer functional; that way it should decrease in size and become less visible. 

Get your Spider Veins Treated at the Kimmel Institute 

The experienced doctor at The Kimmel Institute in Florida understands how vein issues can affect your life and know which treatments can help solve the problem. If you live in the West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, or Fort Lauderdale areas, our South Florida team is ready to help. Our experienced vein specialist will assess your condition and discuss all possible treatment options. Call us at (561)948-5560 today to schedule an appointment.