Broken Blood Vessels – Causes, Treatment

by | Jul 2, 2020 | Blog


Broken Blood Vessels

As always, we do our best here to answer your queries as they come to us. We have a number of requests on Broken blood vessels recently so let’s get into the details today.

What are they?

Broken blood vessels usually occur on the face or legs but can appear just about anywhere. They’re also known as ‘spider veins’ due to their look on the skin. Their only real symptom is appearance, so nothing to worry about!


Broken blood vessels are just enlarged blood vessels that occur beneath the surface of the skin. They can develop for anyone at pretty much any age. Some of us do have a higher chance of getting them than others though..

Here’s a list of the causes we have noticed over time:

Pressure Changes: An extreme change in pressure could cause small blood vessels to appear. A very, very hard sneeze or even vomiting can cause this.

Rosacea: This condition is common and causes the skin to become flushed and red due to enlarged veins.

Consuming Alcohol: Frequent alcohol consumption may lead to long lasting broken blood vessels and redness on the face. This is because alcohol can dilate the blood vessels temporarily.

Injuries: A head injury that causes bruising could result in broken blood vessels. Fortunately, they will often heal as your bruise heals.

Weather Changes: Blood vessels can burst (causing spider veins) if the weather changes drastically. This is because the weather change will affect your circulation.

Pregnancy: During pregnancy, there are hormonal changes that affect the body. This can cause broken blood vessels but these spider veins usually disappear after giving birth.

Environmental irritants: Certain chemicals or environmental pollutants can cause damage to the skin and make broken blood vessels more apparent.

Genes: If you have family members who experience this problem then unfortunately, you’re more likely to have them too.

Sun exposure: Spending too long in the sun and getting Sun damage can enlarge blood vessels and bring them closer to the skin


A doctor or one of our dermatologists can give you an answer on broken blood vessels quickly.

There are a couple of options open to you if you’d like to treat these harmless spider veins.

Firstly, there are Retinoid creams. They usually help to reduce the visibility of these veins and improve your skin health. They can cause itching and redness so use sparingly.

Sclerotherapy is another option. This uses injections of sclerosing agents to help spider veins disappear. Usually, you will see improvements within a few weeks.

It works by sealing up the blood vessels which causes the blood under the skin to disappear.

Laser Therapy uses intense laser lights to destroy the problematic veins. Unfortunately, there is also a risk of skin damage and the process is often expensive. 

Intense Pulled Light Therapy (IPL) also uses lights to remove broken blood vessels. These special lights penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin without damaging the top layer. Unlike laser therapy, this process involves less damage to the skin with less recovery time too.

In all, broken blood vessels are nothing to worry about. Depending on the cause, they can go away on their own. Otherwise, if they are bothering you, there are many treatment options available. Speak to our dermatologists today for a recommendation.

Ask a Dermatologist Now

Anonymous, fast and secure!

1 (415) 234-4124
Get Checked