Thin blue, purple, or red lines, which may appear like webs or branches on your face, are known as spider veins. Some people also refer to them as thread veins or broken blood vessels.

There could be several reasons for spider veins appearing on the face. Understanding what causes them can help prevent and even treat them.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are thin and damaged veins near the surface of the legs and facial skin. They are often highly visible. Unlike varicose veins, they usually don’t cause pain, but sometimes some mild discomfort.

When blood vessels are prominent near the facial skin surface, they are also known as facial Telangiectasis. Most people refer to spider veins as broken blood vessels. When Telangiectasis appears, it is typically due to heredity and environmental factors. Extreme heat or cold and the sun are the factors that seem to play a large role in their occurrence.


There are no at-home remedies to remove spider veins. But the good news is, this condition is easily treatable.

Before we discuss treatment options, it’s important to understand why reasons spider veins appear.

Causes of Spider Veins on the Face

● Aging ● Sun Exposure
● Gender ● Alcohol Use
● Genetics ● Skin Diseases
● Hormones ● Injury
● Pregnancy ● Liver Disease

Women are more often affected by spider veins than men. The most common causes are aging, alcohol consumption, injury to the face, changes in weather, and sun exposure.

Those who suffer from rosacea, liver disease, or connective tissue diseases often have spider veins on the face.

Pregnancy can also cause spider veins on various areas of the body. Elevated blood pressure and estrogen during pregnancy can easily lead to broken blood vessels appearing on the skin.

Spider veins are hereditary. If you have a family history of spider veins, you’ll likely see them on multiple areas of the body such as legs and face.

Sun exposure can exacerbate spider veins and make them more prominent. Chemical irritants and environmental changes are also determining factors of spider veins appearing. Protecting your skin with sunscreen and vitamins is helpful in mitigating these factors.


Spider veins can fade with time, they are not necessarily permanent. However, they may take years to become less noticeable. Seeking professional intervention and treatment will help them fade faster.

Treatment for Spider Veins on Face

There are a number of treatments that can reduce or eliminate spider veins from your face.

Please remember that after most forms of spider vein treatment, there is a higher risk of sensitivity to sunlight. Avoid the sun directly after a procedure and incorporate sunscreen into your routine.


Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive spider vein treatment. It involves injecting a chemical solution into the broken veins. The veins then harden, close, and finally disappear. This treatment reduces swelling and causes the affected veins to shrink and vanish.

Sclerotherapy is an excellent solution for treating large spider veins of the face. Most people see immediate results although best results are seen after ten days.

This treatment is generally painless and won’t break the bank. There is very little down time after this procedure. Many people return to work and activities the same day.

Retinol/Vitamin A Creams

Retinol creams with vitamin A effectively fade and reduce the appearance of spider veins by building collagen in the dermis and minimizing their appearance.

Retinoid creams are mainly used for acne and rosacea. They help regenerate new skin cells by removing the outermost layer of skin. This allows for the fresh, undamaged skin to come to the surface. Your doctor can help you to find the right balance of retinoids to reduce spider veins and achieve your desired results.

Laser Treatment

Laser therapy is another form of treatment to help break up spider veins. Laser therapy is a very targeted treatment that works to destroy spider vein entirely. Lasers therapy uses a light beam to seal the vessels off, causing them to dissolve.

People with a darker complexion should avoid this therapy. This form of treatment can destroy melanin and lead to discoloration. This risk increases with the number of treatments given. One to three sessions of laser therapy may be needed to treat facial spider veins.

Many people report that laser treatments are painful. It has been likened to a rubber band snapping sensation against the face. Laser treatment might seem like a no side effect therapy, but bruising does occur often. This procedure can also be very costly.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Intense pulsed light is often used to treat spider veins of the face. The IPL treatment is similar to laser therapy. The main difference is that the light pulse penetrates down to the second layer of skin without affecting the top layer.

Pulsing light helps break up spider veins making them less noticeable. At the same time, this treatment encourages the regeneration of cells. Light therapy can also help with killing bacteria on the surface of the skin and may be helpful if you are prone to acne.

These light treatments are extremely targeted. They work best on spider veins that are very noticeable and need precise targeting to treat.

Electrocautery and Radiofrequency

In electrocautery and radiofrequency procedures, a fine needle-like tip vaporizes the dilated vessels.

The treatment may be a little uncomfortable, but it is quick and has a low chance of scarring. These techniques can treat even the tiniest spider veins that even lasers cannot.

Where to Seek Treatment?

Rely on professional help to eliminate spider veins on your face. Receiving treatment from a qualified vein care specialist reduces side effects like increased redness, itchiness, and scarring.

Your skin is precious and taking proper care of it can make a big difference in how you see yourself. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation to discuss you skin care needs.

This blog has been updated in November 2021.

Call Now
Contact Us