Guidelines for the Treatment of Facial Veins
Our face tells a lot about us; it can show age, it can show intelligence and it can also show that we have a problem with facial veins. While everyone has them, they are generally not visible to the general public. For some, these unsightly veins can make them self-conscious about their appearance.
Underneath the skin, an invisible network of life giving blood is present in the form of arteries, capillaries and veins. There are a number of major veins and tributaries that traverse across the face. Veins can become visible when they dilate, or enlarge to control an unusually large flow of blood. Although the walls of blood vessels are constructed of elastic fibers to accommodate varying degrees of blood flow, when this happens on a continuous basis, the walls of the blood vessel can become weakened. The full reasoning behind blood vessel dilation is not understood; however, it is surmised that there are leading factors that contribute to the causes. Excessive exposure to the sun, radiation therapy, steroid use, liver disorders, natural aging process, genetics and trauma are the factors that may cause the veins in the face to dilate.
Dilation of these veins makes them more visible through the thin layers of skin that cover them. Because of the different types of veins that are present in the face, the size of visible veins can vary widely. The dilated veins themselves pose no actual danger to the individual; however, if a medical issue is at the root of the dilation, they can be a red flag to alert to the condition. There are certain people who are at greater risk for developing these visible veins; fair skinned women who are between the ages of 40 and 50. This tendency is by no means exclusive to this group; it simply indicates those who are treated most often for the condition.
Treating visible facial veins is a matter of preference. Some individuals simply learn to live with the presence of the reddish lines that appear. Others find them to be unsightly, and wish to have them eradicated. The process of eliminating these veins is considered to be a cosmetic procedure. An individual who is uncomfortable with the appearance of these veins has several options available to them:
Electrosurgery is the process of applying an electric current to the vein using a hand held needle. The procedure is painful, but mercifully quick and has little to no scarring.
- Vascular lasers focus an intense beam of light that serves to destroy the blood vessel yet leaving surrounding tissue untouched. A stinging pain and some light bruising generally accompany this type of procedure, but are temporary effects. Little to no scarring results.
- Pulsed light therapy can be likened to the vascular laser procedure with one exception; instead of a focused beam of light, broadband light is directed at the facial veins to destroy them. Less bruising is evident with pulsed light.
Of the three procedures, electrosurgery is the only one requiring a single visit for existing dilations. Laser and light therapy each may require several repeat visits, spaced weeks apart.
Those who either don’t wish to have or cannot afford to have treatments to eliminate the dilated blood veins have another option; disguising the veins to lessen their appearance. A concealer makeup is helpful to even out skin tone and make the dilated facial veins much less obvious. Facial powders that hide flaws are also an easy fix.
Not all people have the confidence to allow their face to show everything about them. Even those who do may wish to address the thin, reddish veins to present a more flawless appearance. With a number of options available for treating these veins, there is little reason to be self-conscious about the appearance of your face.