Cape Town Based Laser Clinic

Freckle and Age Spot Removal

At some point in every adult’s life, they will discover some redness on their face. These facial capillaries typically appear around the chin, nose and cheeks, but that’s not to say they can’t be found on the neck, decollete/chest or other parts of the body.  Often referred to as “broken” capillaries, spider veins or, the official medical name, telangiectases, they are not dangerous, but most find them unsightly.


These veins can be caused by a number of different factors, but are most commonly due to damage from sun exposure.  Other causes include excess dilation from inflammation eg. rosacea – read more about melasma and rosacea, vigorous scrubbing, age, genetics, hormones (puberty, contraceptive pills, pregnancy, menopause) and/or alcoholism.

So How do we Fix This?  

Laser therapy and intense pulsed light treatments are the most effective techniques used to get rid of broken capillaries.  One treatment is usually sufficient for removing small capillaries for good, but thicker, more widespread veins can take up to three treatments.

Other natural solutions include:

1. Taking vitamin C and lysine supplements.  There are no conclusive studies stating that vitamin C and lysine get rid of broken capillaries, but some people report seeing a reduction after incorporating these supplements into their daily routine. Before you start taking supplements, consult with your doctor to make sure it’s a healthy choice for you.

2. Rubbing your face/body with grapeseed oil.  This is a common household product that may help to soothe broken capillaries. The treatment probably won’t get rid of the capillaries, but it will sooth dry, thin skin and could reduce them in the long run.

3. Smoothing on some vitamin E oil.  Vitamin E oil is known to be nourishing to skin.  It helps the skin replenish itself, reducing the occurrence of broken capillaries and other signs of damage. Applying vitamin E oil, or a product that contains it, may help to make your broken capillaries less noticeable.

4. Hydrating your skin with aloe.  Aloe soothes sunburn, of course, but it can also help to ease other types of skin inflammation. Be sure to put some aloe on your face after spending time outside in the sun to moisturize your skin and help heal the damage the sun may have caused.

5. Try a cream with horse chestnut seed extract.  This substance is known to help with circulation and improve vascular health. Using a cream that contains it on your face will moisturize your face and improve circulation, reducing the number of broken capillaries you find there. There are no conclusive studies to prove it works, but many have reported seeing results after using this extract.

Once your telangiectases (redness) have been cleared, here’s how to prevent them returning:

1. Protect your skin from sun damage.  If your skin is fair, thin, or aging, it’s especially prone to sun damage. When your skin is weak, capillaries are more likely to become dilated and visible on the surface of your skin. Be sure to wear sunscreen each time you go out in the sun.  Wear a hat and sunglasses for extra protection.

  • The sun’s UV rays can cause damage in the winter, not just the summer. Wear sunscreen all year round.
  • Avoid windburn as well. Wear a scarf around your face if you know you’ll be exposed to high winds

Consume less alcohol.
  Many have reported that consuming alcohol increases the number of broken capillaries on the skin. The alcohol causes the skin to become red and to swell slightly, leading to a higher instance of damage. Be sure not to overindulge in alcohol, and switch drinks if you notice one, in particular, causing unflattering results. Red wine, in particular, is said to cause inflammation.

Avoid extreme temperatures. The circulatory system is quite responsive to temperature changes. Your capillaries constrict and expand depending on the temperature, and extreme temperatures can cause more broken capillaries to occur. When you must be exposed to extreme heat or cold, be sure to protect your face so it doesn’t come into direct contact with freezing cold or very hot air.

  • At home, keep the thermostat steady so the temperature in your house doesn’t rise or fall too much.
  • Use lukewarm water when you wash your face, rather than using very hot or very cold water.

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