Broken Capillaries & Dilated Blood Vessels
It is a common misconception that capillaries are broken; they are actually enlarged or dilated which then becomes visible on the surface of the skin. This can become a cosmetic issue, especially if there are several dilated blood vessels on the face.
Frequently Asked Questions
The first thing to be aware of is that this condition is a cosmetic issue and not generally one that is medical. However to be certain this is not the tell-tale sign of any health issues, you should schedule a consultation with one of our dermatologists. Broken capillaries and dilated blood vessels is actually something that happens quite commonly and without people ever knowing. The reason it may become noticeable is if multiple vessels become dilated in the same area causing a blotchy look. This is much more noticeable if it occurs on the face and is not generally something a person wants to live with as it does not go away by itself.
There are several reasons a person may have dilated blood vessels. Some of the more common reasons include:
- Liver disease
- Sun damage or photosensitivity
- Medications or surgery
Although heat does not generally cause this kind of issue, you may notice a worsening in the redness following exercise or during hot weather.
The most common treatments for dilated blood vessels are laser and Intense Pulsed Light. Laser treatments are commonly used for other conditions as well, but are effective in working with dilated blood vessels caused by rosacea, pregnancy, surgery, sun damage or even natural aging. In some cases, multiple sessions are required to treat dilated blood vessels with laser treatments.
Intense Pulsed Light or IPL, is the use of a variety of wavelengths of light to try to reduce the appearance of dilated blood vessels. This is commonly used for patients with skin conditions caused by sun damage, those with redness, or acne or rosacea, amongst others. Patients who use IPL will usually need monthly treatments of somewhere between as few as three or as many as 12 sessions. This can be used to treat skin conditions on the face, neck, back, chest, arms and legs, although other areas may also be treated. Although there may be some mild discomfort during the treatments, most patients find it tolerable as well as worth it for the results.