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Facial redness is often the result of broken capillaries and veins. They are commonly found on the chin, cheeks and nose, but can also appear on the legs as varicose veins or spider veins.

What causes them?

Broken capillaries are caused when the walls of the blood vessels weaken, dilate and enlarge, making them visible from the surface of the skin. They may be caused by a range of factors including genetics, skin type, environment and natural ageing. For example, broken capillaries are often caused by an external disturbance of the skin such as extreme change in temperature like cold or windburn, and lifestyle factors such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking or over exposure to UV rays from the sun. You can even get a broken capillary from sneezing too hard.

What are the symptoms?

Broken capillaries appear on the surface of the skin as little red blotches, typically on the chin, cheeks and nose. This is because just under the surface of the skin is a complex network of veins which, when broken, looks like a spider web.

Are they dangerous?

Broken capillaries in themselves are not harmful to our health. However, if they are not caused by a trauma to the skin such as windburn, pimple popping or scrubbing too hard, they may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. If there is no obvious reason for their appearance, it is best to consult your GP or dermatologist.

How are they treated?

Broken capillaries are treated by vascular laser, a safe and effective treatment that will require ongoing maintenance sessions. At Bowral Dermatology, the vascular laser system is the Candela Vbeam Perfecta Laser, [At Orange Dermatology, our Cutera Excel V laser] medical grade, gold standard laser used to treat facial veins, redness, flushing, rosacea, some vascular birthmarks, and general pigmentation. The laser works by emitting a beam of light which is attracted to the blood found in the vessels. The blood vessel is heated up causing it to constrict and close.