Our face is a made up of blood vessels, skin, tiny bones, capillaries, and tissue layers that all make up a fully-functional part of the human body. It is complex and very sensitive. In fact, capillaries may break and blood vessels may be too visible.
Dr K K Chew focuses on medical aesthetics. He recently responded to questions about the various causes and treatments for visible blood vessels and broken capillaries. Here are a few key takeaways.
What are spider veins on the face (facial telangiectasia)?
Also known as spider veins, this condition involves the formation of small dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin. They are commonly found on the face, particularly the nose, cheeks, and chin areas .
Thin skin seems to be more effected
According to my experience, the number of cases has been rising over the past 5 years among Asians. In particular, in those with thin skin .
Sun exposure and ageing can also contribute to the condition
People with too much exposure to the sun tend to experience broken capillaries. In some instances, the condition can also be brought on by ageing .
It can occur together with melasma
Due to the increased visibility of veins, melasma (a common skin problem that causes discolouration) may occur .
IPL treatments could help manage the condition quite effectively
An intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment can help manage and reduce the visibility of the broken capillaries .
It may take 1-3 sessions to achieve optimal results
You might have to go through 1-3 sessions depending on the condition and size of the broken capillaries. The procedure is generally safe with little or no downtime.
How do laser treatments work?
There is a variety of HSA-approved aesthetic laser treatments in Singapore.
I usually use the Excel V laser from Cutera to treat the condition. He applies the 532nm wavelength with contact cooling to eliminate some risks and ensures comfort for patients .
Lasers help “fix” broken vessels or capillaries
The laser can absorb oxyhaemoglobin (what is present in the blood vessels) , causing the vessel walls to collapse. As a result, the vessel walls can be cleared up by the body's system (similar to how bruising works).
Before proceeding with a treatment option, be sure to check with your doctor and get a full evaluation.
Furthermore, get a proper explanation of the procedure as some patients may have to be treated differently from others.
Dr K K Chew practices aesthetic medicine and NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness Clinic located at Paragon since 2004. Dr Chew is the past Vice President of the Singapore Society of Aesthetic Medicine and currently serves as its Honorary Advisor. He believes that every face and person is unique and everyone will have their own aspirations and visions.
Would you like to ask any related health questions?
1. Shovlin CL. Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia: Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. Blood Reviews. 2010;24(6):203-219. doi:10.1016/j.blre.2010.07.001
2. Easy bruising: Why does it happen. Mayo Clinic. Published 2017. Accessed July 4, 2019.
3. Miranda A. Farage, Kenneth W. Miller, Peter Elsner & Howard I. Maibach. Structural Characteristics of the Aging Skin: A Review. Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology. 2007;26(4):343-357.doi:10.1080/15569520701622951
4. Harvard Health Publishing. Unmasking the causes and treatments of melasma - Harvard Health. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/unmasking-the-causes-and-treatments-of-melasma. Published October 2018. Accessed July 4, 2019.
5. Nakano LC, Cacione DG, Baptista-Silva JC, Flumignan RL. Treatment for telangiectasias and reticular veins. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. July 2017. doi:10.1002/14651858.cd012723
6. Adamič M, Pavlović MD, Troilius Rubin A, Palmetun-Ekbäck M, Boixeda P. Guidelines of care for vascular lasers and intense pulse light sources from the European Society for Laser Dermatology. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 2015;29(9):1661-1678. doi:10.1111/jdv.13177
7. Patil UA, Dhami LD. Overview of lasers. Indian journal of plastic surgery : official publication of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India. 2008;41(Suppl):S101-13. Accessed July 4, 2019.