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Broken Capillaries

What Are Broken Capillaries and What Causes Them?

Broken Capillaries are the visible dilated or enlarged blood vessels that you can see most easily in a magnifying mirror.  They’re hardly noticeable at a distance, but the closer you get, the more they stand out.  As with most aesthetic concerns, they can signify various health issues and are often made far worse by physical stressors like vomiting or forceful coughing.

Usually, broken capillaries are found near the nose, on your cheeks, or on your chin.  At any distance greater than a foot, they look like red splotches, but a close examination reveals they’re comprised of small veiny lines of damaged, engorged blood vessels.  Most of us use coverup to hide these blemishes, but with aesthetic medicine, we can actually eliminate them!

What Causes Broken Capillaries?

There are a variety of risk factors involved with broken capillaries, and they’re usually worst for people who tick more than one box.  Here’s a short list of the common risk factors.

  • Genetics – If your family members experience spider veins, you are more likely to have them.  As with so many concerns, genes play an uncontrollable role.
  • Excessive Sun – Sun damage often enlarges blood vessels and draws them nearer to the surface of your skin.  Avoiding sunburns with sunblock and protective clothing is your best option to mitigate this factor.
  • Weather Shifts – Big changes in the weather can impact the circulation in your body, with shifting air pressure causing your skin to flush. When this is severe enough, it can cause capillaries to burst.
  • Changes In local Blood Pressure – Sudden or extreme changes in blood pressure cause small blood vessels to break. An exceptionally hard sneeze or vomiting often causes this to happen.
  • Pregnancy – While pregnancy conveys a certain glow, it’s not easy on your body.  Hormonal changes during pregnancy sometimes cause broken blood vessels, but they normally clear up after giving birth.
  • Obesity – The more extra weight you have, the higher the pressure on your blood vessels, and the more likely they are to burst.
  • Environmental irritant – Exposure to irritating chemicals or environmental pollutants can damage your skin and cause blood vessels to be more visible.
  • Rosacea – This common condition causes your skin to become flushed and red.  All that localized increased blood flow is tough on small capillaries and leads to spider veins.
  • Alcohol consumption – Alcohol dilates the blood vessels when consumed.  This subsides, but frequent use of alcohol can lead to permanent effects as your capillaries get over-stressed.
  • Injuries – Injuries that cause bruising are also likely to cause damage to your capillaries and result in some breakage.

Are Broken Capillaries the Same as Spider Veins?

The short answer is yes, they’re the same thing.  However, in terms of connotative use, spider veins usually refer to broken capillaries in the legs, and the term “broken capillaries” is usually used when referring to these blemishes on the face.  There’s no technical difference, but to communicate most clearly, it helps to use these terms in the specific ways most people are familiar with.

What Are Broken Capillaries and What Causes Them?
Treatments Available At Meg & Co

Treatments Available At

Meg & Co.

Vascular Laser

One of the most powerful treatments for broken capillaries is laser treatment.  We can zap broken capillaries, permanently removing these unsightly blemishes.  This generally doesn’t have a negative effect on your circulation because broken capillaries are already broken and not helping your circulation already.

Safety Considerations

As with all laser treatments, it’s important to make sure your skin is protected from sun damage for about a week after treatment.  Use a combination of sunblock and protective clothing to keep your treated skin safe from damage.

Maximizing Results

To get the best results, you may want to schedule multiple treatments.  While laser treatment is very effective, it’s not perfect, and the delayed results with broken capillaries make it challenging to ensure that your broken capillaries are totally dealt with at your first treatment.  If you have broken capillaries in multiple places, it’s especially important to schedule multiple sessions so all the blemishes can be addressed.



Why am I getting broken capillaries?

In short, yes, they are.  That said, “spider veins” usually refer to broken capillaries on legs, whereas “broken capillaries” is most often used to refer to these blemishes when they’re on the face.

Are spider veins and broken capillaries the same?

In short, yes, they are.  That said, “spider veins” usually refer to broken capillaries on legs, whereas “broken capillaries” is most often used to refer to these blemishes when they’re on the face.

What’s the best treatment for broken capillaries?

The best therapy available is the Clarity II Vascular Laser.  It quickly removes these unsightly blemishes and has a short recovery time of a week or two with almost no risk of complications.