Qualified Practitioner
Dr Ros Debenham MBChB MRCGP

How do I treat facial red veins?

Facial red veins vary from being almost invisible to being so florid and large that they are disfiguring and cause embarrassment. Many sufferers go to extreme lengths using camouflage type make up and avoiding situations where they might sweat and avoiding swimming that would cause the make up to come off.

Some people have a ‘high colour’ on their cheeks and simply have a lot of very small red veins that give an overall flushed appearance. The redness becomes more pronounced in the heat and on exercise. It is often hereditary and gets worse with age.

People who are outdoors a lot in the sun and wind often have more facial red veins.  This is due to the fine capillaries (the very small blood vessels) becoming damaged by the cold, wind and UVA rays that damage the vessel walls causing fragility. Using sun screen on a regular basis and reapplying every few hours helps as a preventative measure.

Red veins around the nose area and chin are sometimes due to the person having had a lot of black heads and having squeezed the skin to remove them. This repetitive action again damages the vessels.

Larger red veins on the face and especially the nose area can be associated with alcohol consumption and hence there is a certain stigma attached to them. These veins can often be so large that they have a blue appearance.

Without doubt a clear, uniform complexion is much more youthful than that with lots of veins on it. For this reason thousands of pounds are spent each year on cover up sticks and foundation. A cream coloured makeup will cover red veins whilst a peachy colour is required to colour blue ones.

 

A laser solution

A more permanent solution is to have laser treatment to the veins. This involves firing the laser beam at the vein. The vein absorbs the energy and the vein is literally heated up to the point that the blood coagulates and the vessel walls stick together and are sealed off. For two weeks before a treatment there should be no sun exposure or use of fake tan as the energy of the laser will be absorbed by the brown colour of the skin and not the red of the blood. The treatment feels like a ‘flick’ from an elastic band.

 

The downtime

After the treatment it is important to not exercise and get hot and sweaty as this would cause the vessels to dilate and so open up the blood flow again. The bigger veins are easier to treat than the smaller ones and 2-3 treatments may be required to get satisfactory results. Some older lasers will cause a bruising effect but the newer ones cause little to no downtime.

 

Where do I start?

An initial patch test is required for safety reasons.
Topical Vitamin C and Vitamin C tablets are important in strengthening the blood vessel walls and preventing the damage caused by the sun’s UVA rays. At Radiance we use ZO or SkinCeuticals skin care products and sun creams. The cost per treatment is £125. Often one treatment is sufficient however sometimes more are required to achieve the desired results.

About Dr Ros

Dr Ros Debenham is one of the South West's leading aesthetics practitioners. With over 22 years experience in general practice, Ros moved over to the aesthetics industry in 2008 having undergone advanced level approved training courses.

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