Broken Capillaries

What are Broken Capillaries?

These are thread-like veins that result from dilation of blood capillaries. The veins are mostly apparent in people with dry, sensitive skin.

These are also known by other names like dilated capillaries, Spider Veins and Varicose Veins. They are observed in children as well as older people. The condition is more common in people who are about 30 years of age or older.

Capillaries Image Source: Wikipedia

Symptoms of Broken Capillaries

The condition appears as fine red lines over fair skin and discolored marks on dark skin. In some cases, these may also appear bluish or cherry red in color. These may arise on face as well as other parts of the body, such as under eyes, legs, around nose, on cheeks, on breasts or on back.

Causes of Broken Capillaries

Read and know about some of the main causes of dilated capillaries.


This is one of the prime factors responsible for the development of spider veins. If parents or immediate relatives of a person have a history of varicose veins, he or she may also exhibit them when older.


During pregnancy, women have a higher amount of blood running through their bodies. This results in enlargement of veins, thereby leading to the development of broken vessels.

Leg Injuries

The condition is also apparent in people who suffer from elevated or reduced blood flow due to injuries in the leg. People who spend a long time standing, followed by pronged sitting or lying down, are more susceptible to this disorder.


Individuals going through changes in hormone levels may develop spider veins as their bodies try to adjust. The problem commonly arises in, pregnant women, women passing through menopausal stage and children going through puberty.

Skin Damage

The skin region surrounding the face is more likely to suffer damages than the other parts of the body. This is the reason why one commonly finds broken capillaries around the face. Spider veins may form due to facial skin damage caused by sunburn, wind, changes in temperature and even glasses pressing on certain areas of the face.

Diagnosis of Broken Capillaries

The condition in mainly diagnosed by physical observation. Physicians may also ask patients about their lifestyle, medicinal intake and dietary habits to make an accurate identification.

Treatment of Broken Capillaries

Spider veins can be cured by using different modes of treatment. These include:

Laser removal

This technique can be carried out in a hospital, professional clinic or doctor’s chamber. Laser rays are highly effective in destroying blood vessels without damaging the adjoining skin region. Once destroyed, these disappear after some time. There may be temporary discoloration of the skin, which usually persists for 1-2 weeks depending on the size and location of the vessel that is being treated. However, this is a high-cost technique and is only used if all the non-expensive methods fail to make an impact.


Aromatherapy works in combination with essential oil blends which include oils of chamomile, parsley, rose, marigold, geranium, peppermint and lemon. These oils can help slacken the spread of broken capillaries and decrease their appearance. The oils can safely be applied onto the skin when mixed with a base oil or skin-safe “carrier”. Add 10-12 essential oil drops onto an ounce of carrier oil, such as evening primrose oil or rose hip seed oil, for daily use and further benefit.


A popular treatment for spider veins is to use a skin-cleansing, vitamin-based cream. Vitamins C and K are mostly used for this condition. The best results can be achieved by using both types of cream. Applying Vitamin C cream, immediately followed by Vitamin K cream, can have the best effects. Dermatologists often use Retinaldehyd, a soft type of Vitamin A acid. It reduces the visibility of spider veins by thickening the skin.

Broken Capillaries and Creams

The fastest and easiest way to make spider veins vanish is by covering them with make-up. Apply a base of day-cream over the veins. If this fails to hide the dilated capillaries, use a concealer brush to apply a green concealer over them. The green color helps neutralize the red veins. Follow this up with a foundation that exactly matches your natural skin tone. Compact or cream foundations are most effective due to their dense pigmentation. Creams containing extracts of celandine and crowfoot work best as they promote circulation and maintain elasticity of capillary walls. Although these creams prevent development of more dilated capillaries, most of them fail to eradicate them completely.

Broken Capillaries and Myofascial Massage

It is a special massaging technique that treats the condition by releasing the obstruction causing broken capillaries. It should be performed as soon as the symptoms are diagnosed first.

  • Spread the tips of all fingers, except thumbs, at either side of the nostrils.
  • Massage the region in circular motions. Apply minimal but firm pressure up to a count of five. The pressure should be strong enough to make the skin appear white once you lift the fingers.
  • Move up the fingers a little farther and massage the area in the same fashion. Continue massaging until the fingers reach the bridge of the nose and the area under the eyes.

For optimum effect, try massaging for ten minutes for a minimum of four times every week. It is best to massage directly when the skin is free of oil after polishing off make-up.

Natural Treatment of Broken Capillaries

There are several natural remedies available for curing broken capillaries. These include:

Marigold Compress

Marigolds are effective in curing any skin ailment. A marigold compress on the region with spider veins can help in curing them naturally.


Deficiency of vitamins C and E weakens capillaries. Both these vitamins have important functions in the body. Vitamin C helps strengthen the venous walls while Vitamin E prevents coagulation (clotting) of blood. An average person is recommended to have 500 to 3000 milligrams of Vitamin C and 200 to 600 IU of Vitamin E on an everyday basis.

Horse Chestnut

Also known as Semen Aesculus hippocastanum, this herb helps tone up and strengthen blood vessel walls. This helps prevent the growth in size of broken capillaries and blood vessels.


Straining during bowel movement tends to weaken the veins and may result in the formation of spider veins over a period of time. This can be naturally cured by whole grains, vegetables and high fiber diet comprising of many fruits.

Prevention of Broken Capillaries

Fortunately, this condition is preventable. There are also preventive measures to reduce the appearance of the ones that already exist. Prevention usually begins with keeping the skin protected as much as possible. This can be done by following measures like:

Avoiding hot temperatures

People who tend to exhibit spider veins need to stay away from places like saunas and facial steams that have very hot temperatures. They should also avoid places with excessive sun exposure and extremely hot weather conditions.

Avoiding harsh cosmetics

Harsh cosmetics, chemicals and cleansers can result in skin reactions like redness, burning and itching. Using soft cosmetic brands can take care of these problems.

Avoiding alcohol

Alcohol weakens and dilates capillaries. Limiting intake of alcohol can reduce or prevent “spider veins.” Completely eliminating or reducing intake of beverages like alcohol and caffeine can cure this problem naturally.

Preventing stress

High stress can dilate blood vessels and result in broken capillaries. Reducing stress can decrease damage to the capillaries.

If you are observing broken capillaries for a long time and the symptoms fail to improve with home care, it is best to get in touch with a professional medical care provider. Proper medical attention can help remedy the condition in the safest manner and help you avoid this displeasing cosmetic problem.

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