While there is no definitive answer as to why a person has facial veins, there are definitive ways to help reduce the appearance of red lines that commonly appear on the cheeks, nose and sides of the face.
Facial veins are often related to heredity, oral contraceptives, hormone therapy, sun exposure and the aging process. They may also be related to rosacea which gives the skin a reddened appearance and is also a treatable skin condition.
On the face, visible veins can range in size from the tip of a pencil to bigger than a pencil eraser. Visible veins may be even larger on sites other than the face. Spider veins usually appear as fine red lines on the nose, cheeks and the side of the face. The larger reticular veins appear greenish blue in color and can be 2-3 mm in diameter. They are most often found along the cheekbone under the eye and at the temple areas. Smaller spider veins are usually treated easily with a laser or PDL.
Pulsed Dye Laser or PDL uses a concentrated beam of light that targets blood vessels in the skin. The light is converted into heat, destroying the blood vessel while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. The laser uses yellow light, which is very safe and does not result in any long-term skin damage. Vascular lasers destroy the blood vessel and leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed.
PDL treatments take only a few minutes and are performed during regular doctor visit. No anesthesia is required, as the machine produces a cold spray just before the laser pulse, diminishing the sensation of pain. Most patients with usually need between 1-3 treatments. Patients with port wine stains, hemangiomas and extensive rosacea may need more treatments.
Pulsed dye laser is typically done at four to eight week intervals. Several treatments may be required. When new vessels appear, patients return for more treatments. For prevention, visible veins are often secondary to sun damage; thus, sunscreen use and sun avoidance are recommended.
The most common side effect is bruising. With the V-Beam also known as the pulsed dye laser, bruising can be minimized or even eliminated. After the treatment your skin will be red for a few days and you may also have some bruising and darkening of the veins. This normally resolves within 3-6 days. Sun protection will help minimize the chance of pigmentary changes. Makeup can be used starting on day two. If any crust forms, patients should not pick or try to remove it. Any bruising fades relatively quickly over a 3-10 day period.
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.