What Causes Facial Veins?

Spider veins or broken capillaries can appear in many places on your body, including your nose, cheeks, and chin. While these tiny colored lines are harmless and typically painless, they can be embarrassing, leaving you wondering where they have come from and what you can do to resolve them.

A Brief Guide to Facial Veins

Facial veins are small, delicate blood vessels that are very close to the surface of your skin. Extra blood pressure causes them to enlarge and bulge, making them appear more noticeable. Once they experience this damage, they’ll never return to their previous condition.


Broken capillaries become more common with age – up to half of all people over 50 develop prominent red, purple, or blue facial veins. As you get older, your veins can weaken and become more vulnerable to damage, making them dilate or stretch. Facial veins can also be more visible in older people because your skin gets thinner as you age.


Other Causes of Facial Veins

Aside from age, facial spider veins can also result from these leading factors.


1. Genetics

If broken capillaries and varicose veins run on either side of your family, there’s a good chance you’ll inherit these conditions.


2. Sun Exposure

Excessive time in the sun is one of the most typical causes of broken capillaries. UV exposure without adequate sun protection can enlarge your blood vessels. After a sunburn, your top layer of skin can peel and make the blood vessels directly under the skin more noticeable.


3. Hormones

During puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels throughout your body may lead to broken capillaries. The extra blood volume that occurs with these life changes can put more pressure on the capillaries, making them susceptible to dilation.


4. Drinking and Smoking

Some unhealthy lifestyle habits can affect your appearance. Alcohol increases your blood pressure, which can break blood vessels and cause a flushed appearance. Smoking is extremely harmful to your circulatory system, weakening the capillaries.


5. Medical Conditions

Specific medical conditions, including rosacea, liver disease, scleroderma, and lupus, can also increase your risk of developing facial veins.

Effective Ways to Treat Facial Veins

Though broken capillaries are not harmful to your health, you may still wish to have them removed if you feel they detract from your appearance or self-esteem. At Dermatology Medical Group of San Francisco, we offer two non-surgical, dermatologist-approved facial vein treatments.


  • The Candela V-beam laser uses highly concentrated light energy to destroy the broken blood vessels, while leaving the surrounding skin intact.
  • Intense pulsed light therapy is another excellent way to address broken blood vessels and leave you with a smooth, unblemished complexion.


Like sclerotherapy for unwanted leg veins, these treatments effectively cut off blood flow to the facial spider veins. After treatment, your body naturally reabsorbs the veins, redirecting blood flow to healthier veins that appear less prominent beneath your skin’s surface.

Get Clearer Skin and More Self-Confidence Today

At DMGSF, our patient-first culture is part of everything we do, from the cutting-edge treatments we select to our collaborative approach to dermatology and cosmetic medicine. We carefully study each product and technique we offer to ensure we can confidently recommend them to you. To learn more about facial vein removal in San Francisco, reach out to us today.