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Facial Veins

Facial veins are a common dermatological condition. They increase with age. Conditions such as rosacea & chronic UV exposure are causative factors. Lasers provide a simple, effective & safe avenue for treating vascular spots, thread & spider veins.

Facial Veins at a Glance

Best Results 1-4

Treatment Recovery 0- 6 days

Procedure Time 10-80 min

Skin Specialist Dr Robbie

Duration of Results 12-60+ months

Anaesthetic As per procedure

Back to Work Next Day- 7 days

Facial Veins
The Facts to Know
  • Non-surgical facelifting can yield good results if performed correctly

  • Laser resurfacing is useful if there is background sun damage & poor skin quality

  • Dermal fillers can displace volume, providing a lift. This is termed a liquid face lift

  • New collagen stimulating injectables reduce skin laxity & wrinkles without adding volume

  • HIFU or Morpheus can be a useful treatment for lifting the lower face

  • Treatments are painless as we use dynamic cooling

  • Post procedure skin care can reduce recurrence

  • Medicare provides a rebate in most cases

What are spider veins/capillaries?

Broken capillaries & spider veins are fine blood vessels responsible for microcirculation. They are grouped together under your skin, however, can become more prominent with age. They can present as broken capillaries or thread veins, most commonly around the nose & cheeks.

Spider veins or angiomas are different. These are red dots with spidery ‘legs’. Despite their differences, lasers are highly effective.

What is the best treatment for facial veins?

Lasers provide the most predictable outcomes when it comes to treating facial veins. Treatments are fast, painless & highly effective. We use 8 different lasers to reduce redness, depending on your skin type, size & location of blood vessel.

Is laser a medical or cosmetic treatment?

Red veins can be classed as a medical treatment, as most cases carry a Medicare rebate.  Many cases are secondary to inflammatory conditions such as rosacea, or chronic UV exposure (especially in Queensland).

*Rebate applies for vessels seen at 3 m. Treatment via specialist, using vascular lasers.

What is the recovery time following laser treatment?

  • 0-3 days depending on the extent & severity of broken capillaries.

  • Day of procedure: +/- Bruising.

  • Day 1-3: Bruising fades.

We will give you an accurate guide as the downtime. I suggest getting your veins zapped on Friday or Saturday as you will recover by Monday.

Is the procedure painful?

No. Treatments are well tolerated as we use a cooling spray. Laser treatments feel like a rubber band flicking on the skin, much akin to laser hair removal.


What causes broken capillaries & veins to appear?

Age, genetics,& sun exposure. You can not modify the first two causes, however with good sun protection you can decrease collagen breakdown secondary to UV radiation.


Capillaries & broken veins increase with age. Genetics plays an important role, as fair skin patients are more prone to rosacea. UV radiation, especially UVA penetrates into the dermal layer of the skin, breaking collagen around blood vessels. This leads to weakening of the vessel walls, with resultant leaky capillaries.

Do facial veins recur?

They can, especially in erythrotelangiectatic rosacea as well as chronic sun damage. Recurrence rate is determined by genetics modulated by lifestyle factors. You can reduce recurrence by-

  • Sun protection (this reduces collagen breakdown of the walls of blood vessels)

  • Reducing inflammation (this reduces the dilation of vessels)

  • Controlling conditions such as flushing – blushing – rosacea

Rare genetic skin conditions including hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, essential telangiectasia / generalised essential telangiectasia, etc will have recurrence.

What laser can treat under eye veins?

Under eye veins or periorbital veins can be classified as one of two main groups.

  • Diffuse small calibre veins under the eye. This pattern contributes to dark circles*. Best treated with 595 V Beam laser. Conservative settings, 3 to 6 ms pulse duration. 2-4 sessions.

  1. Large calibre periocular veins– ‘big blues’. These are best addressed with long pulse 1064 Nd Yag lasers. 1-2 sessions.

*Dark circle treatments are extraordinarily complex as there are multiple aetiologies including vascular, pigment due to PIH, constitutional, contact dermatitis, anatomical trough, genetic variants & more.

What are other treatments for facial veins?

Specific vascular lasers are by far the best treatment for facial veins. I primarily use the 595 & the 1064 NdYag wavelengths however occasionally I use-

  • 532 nm vascular lasers

  • 755 Alex vascular lasers (bigger veins)

  • IPL/BBL

  • 810 diode lasers

  • Hypertonic saline sclerotherapy (really resistant veins on the nose & face, usually in elderly gentleman)

How do you prevent facial veins from coming back?

  • Wear sunscreen. Capillary walls weaken with UV exposure, so wearing a good sunscreen can potentially prevent the development of some broken capillaries. Look for broad spectrum coverage, as it is the longer wavelength UVA that is the primary culprit. Neutrogena, La Roche Anthelios, Invisible Zinc & Melan 130 are a few great brands. Antioxidants including ascorbic, ferulic acids & green tea can reduce UV damage. They should be incorporated into your am routine.

Strengthen the blood vessel walls. Vitamin A or retinol/retinoids can increase collagen production in the dermal layer. They can also increase collagen around the arteries & veins, thus providing support for leaky blood vessels. Start with 0.5% retinol.  Note; if you have rosacea, you should modulate your retinoid use as this can flare up your skin.

  • Reduce inflammation. Especially important for patients with rosacea. Ingredients to consider include niacinamide, green teak, rosehip & essential oil. Prescription topicals include Soolantra, Azelaic Acid, & Rozex.

  1. Tepid washes. No, you don’t need to swear off hot showers for life, but know that you’re putting your skin at an increased risk the warmer the water is. Hot water on your face increases the blood flow, dilating capillaries. This results in increased redness in the skin. Wash your face with cool or tepid water, instead, & try to keep your face out of the direct blast of the hot shower stream.

Can lasers treat veins on the legs?

Yes, however there are more effective treatments, namely sclerotherapy. Even though the product information from laser companies state that lasers can be highly effective for spider veins on the legs, simple injections known as sclerotherapyprovide better results in most cases.

Larger veins are treated with an endovenous laser. This treatment is performed by a vascular surgeon.

Can creams treat facial veins?

No. Facial veins will not respond to creams. On the other hand, redness due to rosacea can respond to cream including metronidazole, ivermectin, & bromotrimidine. Sodium sulfacetamide washes, & niacinamide can be useful in treating inflammatory skin conditions.

For medical / topical treatments, consult your medical dermatologist.

What DIY- home remedies are there for broken capillaries?

The bad news is that there are no home remedies available for established veins. They require treatment with laser, IPL or sclerotherapy.

You can however prevent new veins with adequate sun protection & anti-inflammatories such as niacinamide. Blood vessel walls can be strengthened with antioxidants & retinol*.

* Caution if you have overly sensitive skin/rosacea.

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