Skip to main content

Broken and Spider Veins – Causes, Removal & Treatments – Auckland NZ

Spider veins – also known as broken veins or thread veins – are fine red or purple veins that are usually seen on the surface of the legs or face. They often appear as threads or in webs, which is where they get their name from.

Spider veins are usually asymptomatic but you may want to explore treatment options for cosmetic reasons. Treatments are fast, safe and effective requiring no downtime from work and minimal discomfort.

Below we explain spider vein causes, spider vein prevention, and your options for surgery-free spider vein removal and treatment with before and after photos.

What Causes Broken and Spider Veins

Spider or broken vein causes are different depending on whether the veins appear on the legs or on the face or chest.

Broken Veins in Legs

Broken veins in legs are caused by either a faulty valve within the vein or a weakness of the vein wall, which cause the vein to dilate or grow larger. The dilated vein is unable to push blood back up the leg and on to the heart as it is designed to do. This causes the blood to pool in the vein and pressure in the vein to increase, which transmits to the veins on the skin surface. The end result is spider veins.

Spider veins on the leg and varicose veins are both due to the same condition relating to inefficient return of blood back up the leg to the heart. This is called venous insufficiency.

Spider veins are usually asymptomatic but may cause a burning or flushing feeling where they are present. It is usually varicose veins (whether visible or not) that cause the typical symptoms of venous insufficiency: aching, heaviness, throbbing, leg swelling, or skin changes such as itching, eczema, pigmentation, hardening of the skin (lipodermatosclerosis) or an ulcer forming.

Broken Veins in Face and Chest

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. You can read more specifically about facial spider veins here.

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 these result 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.

Broken and Spider Veins Removal and Treatment

Spider veins removal is fast and effective requiring no surgery, no downtime from work and is usually painless. At Palm Clinic 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 leg veins are Microsclerotherapy and/or Exotherme Laser, and for facial veins it’s Elos Medical IPL and Coolglide Excel Laser.


Microsclerotherapy is a treatment that uses very fine needles to inject a medicine called “sclerosant” into the affected veins causing them to close off. Once closed off, the body absorbs the broken veins so they disappear.

Real Time Results from Microsclerotherapy

You don’t need to take time away from work or stop any of your normal activities for Microsclerotherapy treatment. The only aftercare required is that you wear compression stockings and walk for an hour a day during the week after your treatment.

Microsclerotherapy is usually delivered over 2-3 treatments and typically achieves 70-80% reduction in spider veins. It is the recommended spider vein treatment when you have a larger number of veins and a larger surface area to cover. Read more.

Exotherme Laser

Before and after spider vein treatment Exotherme Laser is offered exclusively in NZ by Palm Clinic’s Vein Care experts. It is laser vein removal specifically for leg veins and is a fast, almost painless treatment and a fantastic option for those who are not fond of needles. Exotherme Laser treatment zaps the broken veins causing them to close off and dissolve away. Read more.

Before treating broken veins in legs, it is important to first perform an ultrasound to detect if they are being caused by venous insufficiency or varicose veins, which are not always visible. If these are detected they must be addressed before treating the leg veins or treatment could be less effective. You can read more about varicose vein treatment here.

Elos Medical IPL and Coolglide Excel Laser

Facial and nasal veins before and after Elos IPL.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.

Spider Vein Removal Before and After Photos

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

Broken and Spider Veins Prevention

Broken and spider vein prevention in the legs is largely about keeping a healthy lifestyle and avoiding prolonged periods of sitting and standing. Prevention of spider veins on the face and chest is about sun protection and skincare. 

These measures can be helpful for preventing the initial formation of spider veins in the legs as well as preventing their recurrence after treatment:

  • Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight will reduce pressure on the veins discouraging spider vein formation.
  • Avoiding prolonged sitting or standing to reduce pressure on veins and help prevent spider veins from forming.
  • Elevating your legs when you are seated can aid drainage, reducing the pressure on the veins and discouraging the formation of broken veins.
  • Wearing compression stockings provides external support and can help prevent the formation of spider veins and varicose veins.
  • Avoiding frequent use of high heels also reduces the chance of new broken veins appearing.

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 their appearance 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.

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.

Have a question
or want to make an appointment?