Facial Veins – Causes, Removal & Treatments – Auckland NZ

Everybody has veins on their face, as they have veins throughout their body. Facial veins can be of concern though when they are dilated and are more visible. They can otherwise be known as ‘broken veins’ or ‘spider veins‘. Below we discuss the cause of facial veins and facial veins treatment at Palm Clinic in Auckland, NZ.

Facial Veins

Facial redness on the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead may be asymptomatic or may be accompanied by a slight swelling and burning feeling. It can occasionally extend to the skin on the neck, chest, ears and scalp areas.

Rosacea commonly affects people with fair skin. It typically occurs in women between the ages of 30 and 60, though instances of rosacea in men are not uncommon. In some cases it affects women during menopause. Men often suffer from rhinophyma, which is the thickening of the skin on the nose making it appear swollen and bulbous.

What causes facial veins/facial redness?

Broken veins on the face often have a connotation of being associated with excess alcohol.The causes of facial spider veins are varied. We address these below:

  • Genetics: those who have family members with visible facial veins/facial redness are more likely to experience broken capillaries over time.

  • Sun damage: excessive sun exposure over your life can damage the tissue that surrounds the vein wall causing them to dilate and become more visible (broken blood vessels).

  • Rosacea: this is a condition that is more prevalent if you are of Celtic descent. The skin can flush and cause facial redness with associated dilated facial veins. People with rosacea will often also develop spider veins.

  • Alcohol: frequent alcohol consumption dilates the blood vessels causing facial redness. Long term use can cause more significant visible facial veins as well as spider veins on the body.

  • Pregnancy: during pregnancy,changes in hormone levels can cause dilated visible facial veins as well as spider veins on the legs (thread veins).

  • Irritants: chemicals and pollutants in the environment can damage the skin causing broken blood vessels making facial veins more visible.

Facial Vein Removal and Treatment at Palm Clinic Auckland, NZ

Laser Treatment and IPL Treatment for Rosacea

One of the major advancements in the effective treatment of rosacea has been the use of lasers and a non-laser light therapy called Elos Medical IPL (combination of intense pulsed light and radiofrequency).

IPL uses a non-laser light source. IPL can be safely and effectively used as a facial vein treatment to reduce the following symptoms of rosacea/facial veins:

  • Telangiectasia or dilation of blood vessels.
  • Facial erythema or persistent redness.
  • Flushing.
  • Papular and pustular lesions.

At Palm Clinic we use Elos Galaxy IPL often in conjunction with Coolglide 1064nm NdYag laser therapy. Typically over several facial vein treatments we see a significant improvement in redness and visible veins associated with rosacea and a significant reduction in facial veins.

Intense pulsed light, as the name suggests, applies intense light onto the facial skin. The light is attracted to the red pigment in the blood vessels. It heats the treated area up and coagulates them closed. Once they are closed, the body cleverly absorbs the visible veins away over the following week. It also treats brown pigmentation caused by sun damage at the same time.

The Coolglide vascular laser treatment is at a wavelength that seeks out the red pigment in blood vessels. It is particularly effective for vascular lesions, such as haemangiomas. Again, it heats the blood vessel up while sparing surrounding tissue causing coagulation of the facial spider veins. The body then absorbs the affected vein away over the following one to two weeks.

Treatments are spaced at least one month apart and typically require 3-5 treatments to achieve significant improvement. Most patients with moderate to severe rosacea will require top up treatments to maintain the result over the years. It is important to avoid sun exposure pre and post treatment, otherwise, you can resume normal activities. These are safe and effective treatment options. As with any medical procedure, it is important to have a thorough consultation before treatment to assess your suitability for treatment and inform you of what is involved including any rare potential side effects.

The cause of spider veins on the legs is different. They are usually associated with varicose veins, and sometimes associated with underlying varicose veins that are not visible on the surface of the leg yet. The treatment of spider veins on the legs involves a different approach requiring the use of compression stockings. You can read more about treatment of spider veins on the legs here.

Facial Vein Removal Before and After Photos

ELOS IPL and coolglide vascular laser can be used to safely and effectively reduce the appearance of facial veins/facial redness.

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.

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


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 DunnConsulatation at Palm Clinic with Dr Sam Dunn

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    Please note that individual results may vary from patient to patient, and the information provided on our website is only a guidance to the possible results.