Facial veins, also referred to as spider veins, are broken capillaries just beneath the skin's surface. Aging, sun damage, extreme heat or cold, steroid use and inflammatory skin conditions are just a few of the factors that contribute to the appearance of these veins. Women are the most susceptible due to hormonal shifts in pregnancy, childbirth, birth control, menopause and estrogen-replacement therapy. Facial veins are considered cosmetic in nature, but are easily treatable by a dermatologist.
Visit a dermatologist for laser therapy. For over 20 years, medical professionals have used laser therapy to remove facial veins. The wavelengths of light destroy the blood vessels without affecting the surrounding skin. The procedure lasts approximately 15 minutes and the results are virtually instant. Appearance is improved by 80 to 90 percent.
Opt for intense pulsed light therapy (IPL). This approach uses broadband light in lieu of focused light. There is somewhat less redness and irritation involved, but the procedure is quite similar.
Investigate electrosurgery. This practice uses a hand-held needle to administer electric current to the affected area, thereby destroying the blood vessel. In comparison to laser and IPL therapy, this method is a bit more painful and will leave small scabs.
Efforts can be taken to prevent facial veins from appearing in the first place. Protect yourself from the damaging rays of the sun year-round with a sunscreen that is at least an SPF of 30 or higher with both UVA and UVB protection.
Avoid excess alcohol consumption as it dilates blood vessels and weakens your skin's collagen, thus increasing the appearance of veins.
Include certain items in your diet such as grapes, whole grains, peanuts, olive oil, milk, leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits and peppers to strengthen your capillaries and build connective tissues and collagen.
Laser treatments may have side effects, including temporary discoloration, occasional bruising, redness and crusting. Even after laser treatment, new spider veins may appear and multiple treatments may be required.
Jillie Reil is a stand-up comedian as well as an actress, model and writer. Reil graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in management and communication from Concordia University in Saint Paul, Minnesota and is a certified makeup artist with experience in cosmetic, skin care and plastic surgery sales.