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Facial Veins – Causes, Removal & Treatments – Auckland NZ

Facial veins are small red thread-like veins on the face, which are also known as ‘spider veins’ or ‘broken veins.’ Usually they cause no discomfort but sometimes they are accompanied by a slight swelling and burning feeling.

Treatments are often undertaken for cosmetic reasons and are fast, safe and effective requiring no downtime from work and minimal discomfort.

Below we explain facial veins causes, facial veins treatments and your options for surgery-free facial veins removal.

What Causes Facial Veins

Broken veins on the face often have a connotation of being associated with excess alcohol.Broken or spider veins on the face (telangiectasia) can develop at any age but tend to increase as we age. We know that genes play a part so if one of your parents or family members has them, you will be more likely to develop them.

They commonly affect people with fair skin and typically occur in women between the ages of 30 and 60, though facial veins in men are not uncommon. In some cases they affect women during menopause. Men will often also suffer from rhinophyma, which is the thickening of the skin on the nose making it appear swollen and bulbous.

Sun exposure is the other key spider vein cause in NZ. The sun damages the lining of the veins over time causing them to dilate and become more visible on the skin. Broken veins on the chest and face can also be more visible during extremes of weather and can be more troublesome in the heat or cold.

Other causes of broken veins on the face and chest include:

  • Pollutants in the environment which can damage the skin and irritate veins making them more visible on the skin.

  • Hormonal changes in pregnancy which can cause increased pigmentation (chloasma) as well as broken veins on the chest and face.

  • Frequent consumption of alcohol, which dilates blood vessels on the face temporarily. Longer term this results in spider veins on nose, face and chest.

  • Spider veins on the nose and cheeks in particular are often associated with rosacea – a condition that causes facial redness and a flushed appearance in these areas. It can be triggered by heat or cold, spicy foods and alcohol.

Facial Vein Removal and Treatment

Facial veins removal is fast and effective requiring no surgery and no downtime from work. At Palm Clinic in Auckland, NZ our vein care experts have been offering spider veins treatments for 25 years using modern non-invasive techniques and the most advanced treatment technology. Today’s leading treatment options for facial veins are Elos Medical IPL and Coolglide Excel Laser.

Elos Medical IPL is a laser treatment that is very effective at spider veins removal on the face and chest. The laser heats the blood vessels until they close up, after which they dissolve away. Three to six treatments are usually required. Read more →

Coolglide Excel Laser is used for the removal of spider veins on the face that are larger and less likely to respond to IPL. This is also a very safe procedure and is highly effective. Read more →

When having either of these treatments it’s important that they’re performed by a trained professional as there is a risk of burning or scarring when used in the wrong hands. Palm Clinic in Auckland, NZ takes safety very seriously and our clinicians are highly trained to deliver effective outcomes without compromising on safety. This is why we were rated 95% for patient experience by an independent Southern Cross review.

Prevention of broken veins on the face and chest is all about protecting the skin. We recommend:

  • Wearing sunscreen – this is the most effective measure – and covering up with a hat and clothing.
  • You may also choose to wear makeup to minimise the appearance of facial veins and protect them from the sun.
  • Effective skincare such as topical vitamin C and vitamin A can help improve the condition of the skin and prevent the formation of broken veins.
  • We recommend complimenting IPL treatment with a visit to our skin therapist who can advise on medically-active skincare to optimise your treatment outcomes.
  • If you have rosacea or facial redness, avoiding triggers such as spicy foods and alcohol.

Facial Vein Removal Before and After Photos

View our gallery for more facial vein pictures showing before and after treatment at Palm Clinic in Auckland, NZ.

Spider veins on the face before and after Elos Medical IPL treatment.

Facial redness is often associated with rosacea.

Facial redness is often associated with rosacea. Elos IPL can treat the broken capillaries involved in this condition which gives a rejuvenated appearance.


What causes rosacea?

Causes of rosacea are not well known. Rosacea is often considered a hereditary condition. It is also said that rosacea is likely to occur in people who blush a lot. Occurrence of rosacea can be associated with environmental, chemical, food or emotional triggers. Common triggers include exposure to extreme heat and cold weather, hot beverages and spicy foods, and alcohol consumption. As a large number of hair follicle mites (Demodex folliculorum) are found in rosacea papules, they are also a possible cause of rosacea. The stomach bacterium helicobacter pylori is also reported to be associated with rosacea, though most dermatologists disagree with this theory. Rosacea may worsen with the use of facial creams, oils and topical steroids.

What are the symptoms of rosacea?
  • Redness on the face, particularly the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead.
  • Small red lines beneath the skin due to the thickening of blood vessels (telangiectasia).
  • Skin becomes thicker, particularly over the nose.
  • Hard raised lesions (papules) and pus filled acne pimples (pustules) develop on the reddened facial skin.
  • Inflammation in the eyes causing a burning or stinging feeling.
  • Irritation in the eyes, watery eyes, sensitivity to light and sometimes blurred vision.
  • In advanced cases, the nose becomes larger and swollen with thickened skin causing a rhinophyma.


There are 4 sub-types of rosacea.

  1. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea marked by flushing and redness.
  2. Papulopustular rosacea with papules and pustules and burning and stinging sensation.
  3. Phymatous rosacea characterised by thickening skin and enlargement as in rhinophyma.
  4. Ocular rosacea marked by ocular changes like conjunctivitis, telangiectasis of the conjunctiva and inflammation of the eyelids.
    How is rosacea diagnosed?

    There are four acknowledged stages of rosacea.

    1. First stage is called pre-rosacea characterised by facial blushing which may begin in early childhood, though the condition of rosacea sets in after the thirties. Frequency of flushing may increase and experience of burning and stinging when using antiacne products or cosmetics may be common.
    2. In the second stage which is vascular, redness (facial erythema) and thickening of the blood vessels and their visibility on the skin as small red lines (telangiectasis) develop.
    3. In the third stage facial erythema and telangiectasis increase with the formation of papules and pustules. In this stage changes in the eye (ocular changes) like inflammation of the eyelids and watering of the eyes begin to occur.
    4. In the fourth stage, the skin and eye inflammation increase to a great extent. In very rare and severe cases ocular inflammation can lead to loss of vision whilst fibroplasia and sebaceous hyperplasia of the skin lead to rhinophyma.
    What are the effects of rosacea?

    It can lead to frustration due to the unattractive appearance and the discomfort experienced. It can mar the personal, social and professional life of the individual. In extreme cases the psychological effects of such a condition can be very serious and can cause the patients to become reclusive. Rosacea is primarily a facial occurrence and develops gradually. In its initial stages, patients often mistake the facial flushing, papules and pustules for adult acne, sun burn or normal signs of ageing.

    What treatments are available for rosacea?

    There is no cure for rosacea. But there are various rosacea treatments to control rosacea effectively. Your Palm Clinic doctor will determine a treatment plan for you depending on the extent of damage to the skin. IPL and laser treatments are most useful for the facial redness and flushing.

    The first line of treatment for the pustules associated with rosacea is often topical or oral antibiotics generally prescribed by the family doctor. Metronidazole (Rosex) is generally given as a topical antibiotic. Oral medications include tetracycline antibiotics like tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline. The antibiotic rosacea gel or rosacea cream should be applied on the entire face instead of on the lesion spots alone.

    The eyelids should be cleaned everyday with a diluted baby shampoo or a rosacea cleanser for the eyelids. Warm compresses should be applied on the eyelids a few times a day.

    For treatment of rosacea in the advanced stages like rhinophyma, laser or radiofrequency surgery is the ideal method to remove the excess tissue on the nose.

    What are the benefits of treatment?
    • Improves appearance.
    • Boosts self confidence and self-esteem.
    • No downtime with most rosacea treatments including IPL.
    • Long-lasting results.
    • Few or no side-effects.

    Vein care for confidence and comfort at every step.

    Consulatation at Palm Clinic with Dr Sam Dunn

    Why Palm Clinic?

    Our highly skilled medical team treat you with care and understanding.

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