Top causes of spider veins on the face

27th September 2017 by Daryll Baker0

The small blood vessels which connect the arteries and the veins are called capillaries. When a capillary becomes broken, they can sometimes be seen on the surface of the skin as a reddish or blue thread. These broken capillaries that are visible on the skin are often referred to as spider veins, as they resemble the pattern of a spider’s web.

The tiny red blemishes can appear anywhere on the face but often occur under the nose or under the eyes.

Whilst facial spider veins are harmless, some people are concerned about their appearance and seek to get them treated.

Some of the key causes of these broken capillaries on the face include:


Unfortunately, it is often our genetical makeup that can make us more susceptible to facial spider veins. If older generations of families have suffered from spider veins, the chances are younger generations will as well.


Ageing is one of the leading causes of facial spider veins. When we get older, our skin loses its elasticity and weakens. The skin loses its recuperative powers and consequently, people can see more spider veins appearing on their face.

Excessive exposure to the sun

Free radicals cause oxidative damage to the skin. As the sun contains free radicals, excessive exposure to UVA rays can cause spider veins to manifest themselves on the surface of the skin.

Smoking and alcohol

Smoking and drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, which can cause the breaking and a swelling of the blood vessels. Smoking also causes the oxidation of the cells, which can be detrimental to the body’s circulatory system. A weaker circulatory system can mean that the capillaries are less resistant to breakages and damage.


Obesity can also be a leading cause of facial spider veins. Being clinically overweight puts pressure on the body and causes the blood not to circulate around the body as well as it should. The skin is also overstretched when someone is obese, making capillaries more prone to breaking.

Hormonal imbalances

Fluctuations of the hormones are also linked to the onset of facial spider veins. The changes of hormones during pregnancy, the menopause or puberty, can lead to the formation of spider veins on the face and elsewhere on the body.

If you are concerned with any aspect of your vascular health and would like to discuss your concerns with specialists in vascular systems, get in contact with the Vascular Consultancy, experts in treating varicose veins and other vascular conditions.

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Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.


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