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If you’ve ever had a rash develop on your face, like rosacea, you may have noticed these small clusters of blood vessels visible just under the surface of the skin. These face spider veins, known as telangiectasias, may look like a cluster of veins or just a single vein, and they occur when a small blood vessel becomes locked in a wide, open position.

Causes

There aren’t strong, clear-cut indications as to why these telangiectasias develop, but they have been linked to other conditions. Rosacea rashes, long periods of sun or cold exposure, and too much estrogen are considered factors in their development. They can also arise from more serious conditions like cirrhosis, lupus, or a condition known as hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, where these blood vessels open up on their own for no discernable reason. Other causes include high blood pressure and obesity, both of which cause strain on the walls of blood vessels. They can also occur because of simply rubbing too hard when washing your face.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of telangiectasias include lacy patterned red patches of skin, skin becoming white when pressure is applied and returning to red when the pressure is lifted, and in rare cases, they may bleed. The affected capillaries are most commonly found on the face around the nose or under the eyes, and they are usually harmless, though they can pose a cosmetic issue for some.

Diagnosis and Treatment

A qualified vein doctor will make an inquiry about your medical history and examine the affected areas to determine if you are indeed afflicted with telangiectasias. They may take a biopsy of your skin and refer you to a skin specialist to determine the root cause of the telangiectasias.

There is no necessary treatment for telangiectasias other than treating the root cause of it. Generally, the condition will resolve itself in mild cases, but if there is an underlying cause, treating this will also cure the telangiectasias. Currently, there are no known ways to prevent telangiectasias, but if you suspect you have them, contact a vascular center and schedule an appointment for a physical examination in order to determine the necessary course of action.