Here's exactly how to deal with spider veins on your face.

So, you're having a little up-close squiz at your face in the magnifying mirror, patrolling your skin for pimples, blackheads and such - and then suddenly... face veins. A spider-like web of 'em. All around your nose. Having a time.

If you've ever dealt with spider veins (also known as 'broken capillaries' and the science-y name 'telangiectasia'), you'll know it can be frustrating.

That splotchy redness is a fickle thing to camouflage and stubborn as hell to get rid of - just not a fun time for all involved.

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Video via Mamamia

But what exactly are face veins? And why have you suddenly been blessed with them? 

To find out, we asked medical director Dr Glenn Murray from Absolute Cosmetics everything we need to know, including what to do if they're bothering you and you want to treat them.

What are face veins?

First up, this is a pretty common thing - it's not just you and your 65-year-old uncle who have them, so don't freak out!

But what actually are face veins? Well, those red blotches are basically broken or enlarged blood vessels that are pretty much just hanging out beneath the surface of the skin. 

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"Most commonly found on the legs, they can also be seen on the face around the nose and under the eyes," said Dr Murray.

"Known as 'spider veins', because usually look like webs, they pose absolutely no threat to your overall health. However, they are a point of contention for the individual wanting to get them treated." 

What causes them?

Well, it's actually a combination of things. Your genes have a good bit to do with it (thank your mum and dad for that one) - i.e. those with fair skin are more particularly prone to those red marks.

But broken capillaries are also caused by external factors - such as extreme temperature changes, UV damage to the skin, trauma (see: squeezing pimples), alcohol abuse and underlying medical conditions.

Even a super enthusiastic sneeze can cause 'em. 

A SNEEZE, you guys.

How do you prevent broken capillaries?

Look, some of these things are pretty hard to avoid, especially if you've simply just been dealt them in the gene department. 

But there are some things you can avoid (forgetting SPF! picking spots! scalding your face in a hot shower!) that will help things on the prevention front.


"While there is no one thing that you can do to avoid developing facial veins, there are many things you can manage or avoid, to help reduce the risk of developing facial veins," said Dr Murray.

If you're already rocking some broken capillaries, they're only going to be worsened by UV exposure.

So, it's crucial that you apply SPF every day to keep these blotches enlarging and, of course, to prevent skin cancer. 

"By living a healthy, active, and balanced lifestyle, wearing SPF daily, keeping well hydrated, managing stress levels, and limiting your alcohol intake, your likelihood of developing facial veins can be reduced," said Dr Murray.

So, yeah. Prevention is pretty dingin' important, because once you have facial veins, they're sticking around until you intervene with a laser treatment. 

Which brings us to our next bit:

What's the best way to treat face veins?

Okay. When it comes to treatment options, there are a few different things you can do to remove or reduce the appearance of spider veins if they're really bothering you.

Shall we?

1. Laser treatments.

According to Dr Murray, laser treatments are one of the best options when it comes to treating veins on the face. 

"While these are the most common treatments we use to diminish the appearance of facial veins, other methods, including stronger lasers may be recommended by your practitioner. A consultation is required to determine the most suitable and safest treatment modality for each individual," he said.

2. IPL photo-rejuvenation.

IPL photo-rejuvenation (which uses light technology instead of laser) is another popular non-invasive option that can give you great results.

It basically works by heating up and destroying the facial veins, red streaks and blotches, without damaging the surrounding tissue. Similar to laser treatments, it usually involves minimal pain (kind of feels like a mosquito bite or an elastic band flicking against your skin) and you'll generally be able to return to work or daily activities immediately afterwards.

You'll usually need a series of treatments for the best results - but you're best checking in with an expert to help work out how many you would need.

3. Retinol.

"In most cases, topical treatments such as creams, ointments and gels are not effective in diminishing the appearance of facial veins," said Dr Murray. 

"Retinol (an ingredient found in many skin products) can help to fade the appearance of veins for some. However, this ingredient can also thin the skin, therefore [you'll need] a consultation with an experienced practitioner."

As mentioned before, hit up an expert and they'll be able to give you an idea of what will work best for your skin.

"We encourage all individuals who are concerned about facial veins to visit their GP, or an experienced and registered practitioner, for a consultation to help determine the most suitable treatment modality for them."

Feature image: Getty