Broken capillaries, also called spider veins, are ruptured capillaries near the surface of your skin. Their appearance is commonly associated with aging, but you may experience them earlier in life under certain conditions, such as weak vessel walls and poor circulatory health. You may be able to prevent them or reduce their appearance them through a healthy diet and lifestyle choices. If they persist, laser or chemical surgery may be needed, but there are less intrusive and more natural remedies for you to try first.
Diet and Dietary Supplements
A diet rich in several vitamins can both reduce the appearance of existing spider veins and prevent future outbreaks. Your capillary walls may break if your overall health is poor, so eat foods rich in vitamin B6 to give your immune system extra support and encourage cellular growth. According to Health911, vitamins C, E and K are also helpful in reducing their appearance. Vitamin C will improve your circulation and prevent damaged capillaries. Vitamin E and vitamin K both improve circulation and reduce redness and swelling in areas where ruptured capillaries are visible.
Topical Skin Care
Grape seed extract, butcher's broom rhizome extract and escin, which is found in horse chestnut, are useful in improving venous insufficiency and diminishing the severity of spider veins, suggests SmartSkinCare.com. While you can take these substances in some oral forms, the website also notes that they are available topically. Topical creams with vitamin A can also reduce the appearance of broken capillaries and improve skin health to prevent new outbreaks, but monitor your intake of vitamin A, as too toxicity can result when excessive amounts are taken over short or long periods of time. Consequently, toxicity can be acute or chronic, according to MayoClinic.com.
While Spider-Vein-Treatment.net points out that smoking does not directly cause broken capillaries, it does have an oxidizing effect on your cells, and it contributes to the deterioration of your heart and arteries. The weakening of your blood vessels can cause them to rupture and become visible beneath your skin. So smoking, like all activities that compromise your circulatory health, should be avoided. As the health of your circulatory system improves, you may develop fewer new broken capillaries while the existing unsightly lines beneath your skin continue to heal.
Rob Callahan lives in Minneapolis, where he covers style, culture and the arts for Vita.MN and "l'étoile Magazine." His work has earned awards in the fields of journalism, social media and the arts. Callahan graduated from Saint Cloud State University in 2001 with a Bachelor's degree in philosophy.