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Blood Vessels & Facial Redness

Dermatological concerns involving blood vessels, particularly in the facial area, can manifest as facial redness, visible blood vessels, and other related symptoms.

What are the causes of facial redness and visible blood vessels?

  • Genetics: Some people are genetically predisposed to having more visible blood vessels.
  • Sun Exposure: Chronic sun exposure can weaken the collagen that supports the skin’s tiny blood vessels, leading them to break more easily.
  • Temperature Extremes: Moving between hot and cold environments can cause blood vessels to expand and contract rapidly.
  • Spicy Foods & Alcohol: Consuming these can cause facial blood vessels to dilate, leading to temporary redness.
  • Certain Medications: Drugs that dilate blood vessels, like some blood pressure medications, can increase redness.
  • Skin Trauma: Anything that traumatizes the skin, such as surgical procedures, can potentially lead to increased blood vessels.
  • Other Conditions: Liver disease, autoimmune conditions, and certain other diseases can manifest with prominent blood vessels and facial redness.

Types of Blood Vessel-Related Dermatological Concerns

  • Telangiectasias: These are tiny, superficial dilated blood vessels that appear as fine, red lines on the skin. They are commonly found on the face, especially around the nose, cheeks, and chin. They are a common cosmetic issue that affects 92% of adults. Usually, they are associated with rosacea or factors such as genetic predisposition, gravity, pregnancy, and trauma. Laser and Light treatments are a cornerstone of management of these lesions.
  • Rosacea: A chronic skin condition characterized by facial redness, visible blood vessels, and sometimes pimples. The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, but it’s believed to involve a combination of hereditary and environmental factors.
  • Spider Angiomas: These are small, red, spider-like blood vessels seen mainly on the face, neck, upper body, and arms. They are associated with elevated estrogen levels, and liver disease, especially cirrhosis. However, they can be found in healthy individuals without any underlying disease. Certain medications like oral steroids may be responsible. They are usually cosmetically undesirable and harmless. Laser therapy and sclerotherapy can remove them.
  • Cherry Angiomas: Red moles (small red bumps) on the skin that occur due to an abnormal proliferation of blood vessels. They are usually harmless and do not require treatment but can be removed for cosmetic reasons.

What are the treatment options?

  • Topical Treatments: These can include prescription creams and gels (like metronidazole or azelaic acid for rosacea).
  • Laser Treatments: Laser treatments have become increasingly popular and effective methods to treat blood vessels, facial redness, and other vascular concerns on the skin. These treatments work by directing focused light energy to target hemoglobin within blood vessels. The light energy is absorbed by the hemoglobin, converted to heat, and damages or destroys the blood vessel without significantly affecting the surrounding tissue. Over time, the treated vessels are reabsorbed by the body and fade or disappear. The pulsed dye laser (PDL) is commonly used for this.
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): This treatment uses multiple wavelengths of light to treat skin redness and visible blood vessels. It is good for treating generalized redness, rosacea, and some sun damage.
  • Camouflage: Makeup specifically designed for sensitive skin or to cover redness can be used for temporary concealment.

How can facial redness and blood vessels be prevented?

  • Sun Protection: Use sunscreen daily and wear protective clothing.
  • Avoid Triggers: If certain foods or activities exacerbate your condition, try to avoid them.
  • Gentle Skin Care: Using mild skincare products and avoiding harsh exfoliants can prevent further irritation.

If you’re concerned about facial redness or visible blood vessels, please feel free to call our office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Rains at Beacon Dermatology in Asheville, North Carolina. Dr. Rains is a board-certified dermatology who can diagnose the cause of your issue and recommend appropriate treatments. Remember, every individual is unique, and what works for one person might not necessarily work for another.

Dr. Michael Rains’ approach to aesthetic and dermatologic treatments is holistically focused on revealing and enhancing a patient’s natural beauty. Dr. Rains is known for his caring and compassionate approach to medicine, listening to patients’ concerns and goals and ensuring they receive excellent care and education so that they can make informed decisions about their care.

At a Glance

Michael Rains, MD, FAAD

  • Board certified in dermatology
  • Specializing in medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology
  • Author of multiple peer-reviewed publications and previous adjunct faculty at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Learn more

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