If you’ve noticed a surfacing of needle-point-sized red dots on your skin, you’re likely looking at visible evidence of broken capillaries (commonly known as spider veins). They are most common on the face around chin, cheeks, and nose and are caused by a variety of reasons. While broken capillaries are not dangerous or threatening to health, their prominence is often bothersome. The good news is, you can reduce the appearance of the red dots or clusters on your skin.

Broken capillaries are, as they’re called, broken. So far, there isn’t a treatment to repair or reverse the damage, but laser treatments can effectively remove the broken capillary so that it does not interrupt your otherwise even complexion.

How Laser Treatment for Broken Capillaries Works

Before getting into the treatment of broken capillaries, it’s helpful to understand the capillary composition and function in the body. Capillaries are the body’s tiniest blood vessels. They’re super thin, about the width of a piece of hair and only one-cell big. This tiny tube transports oxygen and important nutrients throughout the body. Since capillaries are so delicate, the ones that run just beneath the surface of the skin can be sensitive to harsh external (or internal) factors.

A few environmental factors that lead to broken capillaries include:

  • UV exposure
  • Extreme temperature changes
  • Windburn

Bad habits that lead to broken capillaries:

  • Popping pimples with excessive force or fingernails
  • Excessive drinking
  • Excessive smoking

Other factors that lead to broken capillaries:

  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Aging
  • Trauma
  • Medications
  • Medical conditions

People most susceptible to broken capillaries:

  • Fair skin tones
  • Sensitive skin types

When capillaries are exposed to one or many of the factors above, they dilate or swell, and the inflammation causes a quiet burst, notifying you later on with the presence of a micro red dot on your skin’s surface.

As we mentioned before, there’s no going back to repair broken capillaries. Once the blood vessel has burst, it’s over. However, these hairline vessels can be removed from beneath the skin, thus eliminating the red dots they’ve left as notifications on your cheeks, nose or chin.

Laser for Broken Capillaries Works Magic

While it’s technically science and not magic, the ability of lasers to remove broken capillaries is phenomenal. The magic behind the method involves a protein that lives in the capillary, called hemoglobin. As the laser targets the capillary, hemoglobin absorbs the beam and then, potent energy blasts the broken broken blood vessel. It’s possible for the capillary to dissolve right away, but it’s for it to become more prominent for a short period (up to a few weeks) before dissolving entirely.

Laser for Broken Capillaries on the Face Is Safe

Laser treatments on facial skin are safe, but it’s important to talk with your physician and all caretakers of your skin to ensure that your skin type is a good candidate for laser treatment.

Laser for Broken Capillaries on the Face Is Safe

Laser for Sun Damage Works, Too

As sun damage is a common cause of broken capillaries in the first place, laser treatment is an effective method to apply toward your overall treatment plan for sun-damaged skin. Remember, if you have laser removal for broken capillaries, more capillaries can still break, so minimize time with skin exposed to the sun and continue to practice strict sun protection habits.

Laser Treatment for Sun Damage Can Be Prevented

While we’re personally indebted to laser treatments for removal of unsightly evidence of overexposure to sun and harsh weather, it’s important to remember that many instances of skin damage can be avoided, too.

For all skin types, but especially those with sensitive skin, it’s critical to remember that UV rays, wind, and toxic environments can especially alarm the skin and overwhelm the capillaries to the point of bursting. Take extra precautions in daily life:

  • Pack pocket-sized sunscreen for reapplication
  • Keep facial skin covered when outside
  • Opt for the shade
  • Use gentle face wash
  • Avoid frequent use of exfoliants
  • Choose products with natural ingredients
  • Avoid environments with smoke, pollution or otherwise toxic air
  • Use lukewarm water on the skin instead of hot or cold
  • Resist the temptation to pop a pimple; it’s not worth the long-term damage
  • Notify your facialist so they avoid extreme temperatures and harsh chemicals in their treatment of your skin
  • Treat your skin to frequent at-home facial treatments – your gentle capillaries will appreciate the love

What to Expect with Laser Treatment

Laser treatment for broken capillaries is swift, lasting up to a few minutes at the most. Activities and makeup can be resumed immediately, though icing is recommended for the first 30 minutes after treatment. Treatment frequency varies per patient, but most can expect 1-3 treatments total with about 30 days between each treatment.

Not Sure If It’s Broken Capillaries?

You’re not alone and you’re right – there could be a number of causes for brown spots on your skin. In fact, getting a medical opinion on the genesis of your pigmentation is the first best in an intelligent and safe approach to skin treatment. Find out more about your pigmentation and how to even out skin tone by making an appointment with Dr. Rochlin.

Dr. Semone Rochlin

If you have sun-damaged skin and want to achieve smoother texture and pigmentation, Dr. Semone Rochlin can help. Dr. Rochlin’s decade of experience as a practicing physician makes her the most knowledgeable, understanding, compassionate, and decisive resource in your journey toward renewed skin. Make an appointment today for an expert analysis of your brown skin spots and find out the best course of action to take for your ideal results. We look forward to helping you reclaim your inherent glow!