Why Healthy Veins Are So Important

varicose veins

Have you heard about our Preferred Patient Program? Dr. Wright’s reward program offers a way for patients to get the procedures they want and need while saving money and racking up great benefits. This program pairs well with many different cosmetic procedures and provides some excellent perks along the way! If you’re struggling with the appearance of facial veins, Dr. Wright is here to answer your questions and provide guidance on the best treatment methods for you. Take a look at our Preferred Patient Program, and review everything you need to know about vein treatments below!

Q: Why are Healthy & Functioning Veins So Important?

A: There is an extensive network of veins and arteries found throughout the human body, all of which make up an essential part of our body’s health. 

When things “go wrong” with our veins, it’s likely the result of an underlying condition or recent change we’ve experienced. Veins affect so many primary systems within our body, so taking notice of these changes and giving them serious attention is extremely important. While it’s often little more than a cosmetic issue when dealing with facial veins, it’s always worth it to double-check with your doctor.

Q: Veins vs. Arteries – What’s the difference?

A: Veins and arteries must work together in perfect harmony in order to carry blood back and forth between our body’s extremities (legs, arms, hands, feet), and our heart. 

Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart, and veins then return oxygen-depleted blood from the rest of the body back to the heart to be restored and then recirculated through the body. The process is ongoing and unending, and a cornerstone of how we function every single day.

While both the functions of arteries and veins are vital to our health and wellbeing, gravity makes it more difficult for veins to function efficiently when trying to move our blood flow upwards, back towards the heart. To help with this process and to push against the gravity working against them, each vein has a collection of one-way valves, helping the vein push blood upwards and in the right direction. When one of these valves isn’t working properly, blood can quickly start to pool in the extremities. As this pooling continues, it may cause pressure to build, swelling to begin, and may lead to the development of varicose veins.

Q: Are Varicose Veins different than Spider Veins?

A: Yes! Varicose veins (AKA chronic venous insufficiency) are larger than spider veins and are more likely to cause serious pain, discomfort, and medical issues for those who have them. 

They bulge out from the surface of the skin and appear swollen, lumpy, or tangled. This chronic form of venous insufficiency may be accompanied by a range of painful side effects, such as aching, burning, rashes, restlessness, muscle cramping, and fatigue. They require prompt treatment, otherwise, they may lead to ulcers, blood clots, or other dangerous conditions.

Learn More About Varicose Veins

On the other hand, Spider veins are extremely thin veins right at the surface of the skin, and they get their namesake from the spider appearance they make, circular in shape with long, thin legs running outward from the center. Unlike varicose veins, they rarely cause discomfort to those who have them but do cause frustration over their cosmetic appearance. Often referred to as spider veins, “capillary veins”, or “broken veins”, facial veins are vessels near the surface of the skin that commonly show up on the nose, cheeks, chin, and underneath the eyes. Broken blood vessels occur when they’re dilated –or enlarged– just beneath your skin’s surface. These veins are usually bright blue or red appear in clusters and may cause you to appear “flushed” in the affected areas.

A frustrating cosmetic problem for those affected, these vein patterns may not disappear on their own. In these cases, patients who suffer from this condition may consider spider vein treatment as an option for reducing or removing their appearance. The good news is that spider veins are typically treatable, but you first need to figure out the underlying cause. Some people tend to develop spider veins more than others, and there are several factors that may contribute to who develops them and when.

Our Spider Vein Treatments

Q: What’s causing my facial veins to be so noticeable?

A: Causes of facial veins can be anything from a family history of experiencing these types of veins, or genetics that includes risk factors that contribute to their development. 

Some women develop spider veins in their face as well as other areas of their body during and after pregnancy when their estrogen hormone levels increase, leading to broken blood vessels. Since the body produces more estrogen during pregnancy, women may suffer vein weakness, blood flow is also increased, and her veins may become enlarged.

The enlarged veins may cause blood to clog the vessels, hence the broken blood vessels form. Skin conditions like rosacea can lead to flushed-looking skin and broken blood vessels in the face, and so can excessive sun exposure. The list of possible causes is pretty long! 

Other causes of noticeably large facials veins:

  • Weather changes and hot temperatures may increase blood vessel dilation and bursts.
  • Environmental or chemical irritants in the air around you may irritate the skin enough to cause a rash or burst blood vessels.
  • The consumption of moderate or occasional alcohol can cause your skin to flush due to your blood vessels getting larger, and binge drinking or consistently heavy drinking habits can even lead to spider veins!
  • Injuries that lead to bruising on your face may also include more visible broken blood vessels.
  • Vomiting or sneezing constantly can create extreme pressure in your face, which has been known to break blood vessels in the skin (and sometimes in the eyes).
  • General aging and thinning of the skin on your face also causes your veins to weaken, which may lead to spider veins.

Q: How Are Facial Veins, Spider Veins, or Broken Blood Vessels Diagnosed?

A: Everybody is different, and determining the cause of your facial veins can best be determined by speaking with your doctor to help hone in on the underlying cause. 

While you might be able to easily identify broken blood vessels simply by looking in the mirror, it’s always important to consult a medical professional to ensure there’s nothing more serious going on. Then, while you’re at it, you can discuss treatment options! Treating these unsightly facial veins might be easier than you think for your given condition. For most of Dr. Wright’s patients, facial vein treatment is quick and easy!

Q: How Can You Prevent Spider or Varicose Veins?

A: While treating broken blood vessels on your face may be a priority, consider preventive measures for future spider veins, too!

Follow the guidelines below to help prevent spider veins in the future. Hint: Many of these action items are simply ways to avoid the causes we mentioned above.

  • If you’re currently undergoing treatment for rosacea, stick with your plan and see your doctor if your skin doesn’t make any improvement.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun’s powerful UV rays, especially during peak afternoon hours, and always wear your sunscreen.
  • Avoid extreme heat, both weather-related while outdoors and even from saunas, spas, or extremely hot indoor areas.
  • Only consume alcoholic beverages in moderation, and always ask your doctor if you should limit your intake even more (refrain from alcoholic beverages completely).
  • Protect your body from injury wherever possible. Wear protective gear such as helmets and padding for sports and biking, and wear necessary braces or other protective gear when physically active. Wearing protective gear.
  • Wash your face with warm water only, take warm baths or showers, and make sure the water isn’t too hot! Since heat can cause broken blood vessels, you’ll want to make sure you avoid hot water where you can.

Q: What Treatments Do You Offer for Vein Health?

1. Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a spider vein cosmetic treatment that is frequently requested by our patients. This treatment option is a quick and permanent way to address the culprit of your spider veins: the veins that had previously dilated and led to the burst. Dr. Wright injects your spider veins with a substance called a sclerosant. This chemical works by causing the dilation of your vein to diminish, and the vein will permanently shut and be naturally absorbed back into the body. Typically, our patients will receive multiple injections during their treatment for maximum results. Occasionally we will use a saline solution in place of the sclerosant with the same results and effectiveness.

More About Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is the most recommended treatment for spider veins due to its precise nature. Other forms of vein disease, such as varicose veins, involve the bodies of larger veins. It is much easier to find these veins and treat them effectively, but spider veins are significantly smaller! Because of their tiny and thin size (sometimes these veins are as small as a needle tip!) it can be difficult for other forms of treatment. Sclerotherapy is also a minimally invasive procedure that is safe on the body and does not require any significant recovery time. In fact, most patients are able to get up and leave right after their procedure is over. Some patients may experience mild side effects such as an allergic reaction or inflammation after the procedure is completed, but these side effects typically fade within a day or two.

2. Vein Wave Treatment

Another option that works similar to endovenous laser treatment is called radiofrequency ablation, or vein wave treatment. This procedure also uses a tiny probe and is inserted into the problem vein. Instead of laser energy, this procedure will direct radiofrequency energy to heat up the vein and cause it to collapse. This collapsed vein will also be safely absorbed into your body and blood flow will be naturally redirected. After the treatment is complete your treatment area will start to regain its previous appearance. Most individuals can head home right after the treatment is complete. The usual side effects include some swelling around the treated area but will heal quickly especially when compression stockings are worn.

3. IPL 

Get the Help You Need with a Facial Vein Treatment

Call today to schedule your free consultation and see which procedure is right for you. Learn more about our practice today!