Facial veins refer to the veins visible on a person’s face. They are usually caused by facial flushing, often triggered by alcohol consumption, sun exposure, menopause, and other factors. Facial veins can be observed on the nose, cheeks, and around the eyes.
When left untreated, facial veins can grow in size and number, appearing noticeable in photographs. They are easily treatable with modern cosmetic procedures such as veinwave, sclerotherapy and facial phlebectomy.
What are Facial Thread Veins?
A facial thread vein is a condition in which a person has small veins, the size of threads, below the skin of their face. The condition is also called “Spider” veins and Spider telangiectasia. They are considered an early stage of facial thread vein, and they usually appear on both cheeks and can be observed as a reddish colour when someone blushes or is embarrassed easily. Sometimes, facial thread veins may also appear as blue-coloured or bluish patches. They can also appear on the nose.
Causes of Facial Thread Veins?
There are no specific causes of facial thread veins, although they can occur due to the following reasons:
- Genetics: Facial thread veins are more prevalent among families.
- Facial flushing: Facial thread veins occur due to facial flushing and can be triggered by various factors such as smoking, exposure to the sun, emotions, pain, and health issues.
- Hormonal changes: Facial thread veins may occur due to hormonal changes such as during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and the use of birth control pills.
- Medical conditions: Facial thread veins may also be caused by health conditions such as rosacea and thyroid disorders. Facial thread vein may also appear in alopecia areata.
- Sun exposure: Facial thread veins may also be caused by excessive sun exposure or tanning.
Symptoms of Facial Thread Vein
The main symptom of the facial thread vein is tiny veins visible on the face. These appear as small veins and will be noticed mainly around the nose, cheeks, or eyes. Facial thread veins may also appear as bluish spots on the skin.
The following symptoms may also be observed:
- Irregular skin colour
- Thickening of skin
- Skin rashes or blotches
- Flushing of the face.
Since facial veins are a prevalent condition, doctors often overlook them. The best way to diagnose facial thread veins is by examining the face. A doctor will look at the face from different angles and will use a special magnifying glass such as a dermatoscopy to observe them better. The doctor may also check for swelling of the facial thread veins and any unusual coloration of the skin surrounding those veins.
Doctors may recommend the following treatment options:
- Veinwave: Laser using high-energy pulses of light can treat facial thread veins.
- Tretinoin: Tretinoin is an anti-aging medication applied topically on facial thread veins.
- Polymethylmethacrylate injections: Polymethylmethacrylate, also known as “PMMA,” is a prevalent type of sclerosing solution that is injected into facial thread veins. There are two types of PMMA – hydrocolloid and aqueous. Hydrocolloid is preferred to aqueous as it has fewer side effects. It is also available in smaller dosages that are more suitable for facial thread vein treatment where many veins are present.
- Sclerotherapy: Sclerotherapy involves using small injections of a chemical liquid called a sclerosing agent. The agent is injected into the facial thread veins and causes them to swell, collapse and disappear over time.
- Minoxidil: Minoxidil is a polypeptide used in place of sclerotherapy due to the lack of side effects and because it is used on larger areas.
Classification of Facial Thread Vein
The facial thread veins can be classified into three categories:
- Transient: Transient facial thread veins are those that disappear after a few weeks of treatment with a chemical substance or surgical procedures.
- Non-scaling: Non-scaling facial thread veins usually do not disappear or shrink with conservative treatment methods such as sclerotherapy and laser hair removal. They may also reappear after years of treatment.
- Scaling: Scaling facial thread veins cannot be treated with any other method than surgical and require excision to disappear.
Prevention of Facial Thread Vein
There are a lot of measures that one can take to prevent facial thread veins from appearing. While there is no way of eliminating the risk, the following tips may help reduce their incidence:
- Follow sun protection guidelines: Follow all the guidelines for skin care and sun protection recommended by dermatologists and skin specialists, such as using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and wearing protective clothing when exposed to the sun, and allowing sufficient time between exposure to the sun and application of sunscreen.
- Hydrate the skin and increase blood flow: Hydrate the skin by applying lotions and moisturizers regularly to help increase blood flow and nourish the skin.
- Check for signs of liver disease: Check for signs of liver disease or other medical conditions that may cause facial thread veins and seek out professional medical help if any are found.
- Avoid hormonal treatments such as birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, especially if you have a family history of facial thread vein or telangiectasia.
Effects of Facial Thread Vein Treatment
The effects of treatment on facial thread veins may be beneficial or harmful depending on the type of treatment used and on the patient’s skin type. The following effects may occur:
- Facial thread vein removal by sclerotherapy or laser: A facial thread vein removal by sclerotherapy or laser removal is usually very successful in reducing facial thread veins in the early stages of the procedure. Still, later stages may show a high incidence of new facial thread veins appearing.
- Tretinoin (Tretinoin Cream): Tretinoin has a high success rate of removing facial thread veins at the early stages of treatment, and the effect is often long-lasting.
- Polymethylmethacrylate injections: Polymethylmethacrylate injections have good results in removing facial thread veins in the early stages of treatment but may result in new facial thread veins appearing in later stages.
- Minoxidil: Minoxidil is a very effective treatment for facial thread vein removal, but it has a lower success rate in the late stages of treatment than laser hair removal.
- Sclerotherapy: Sclerotherapy is more effective in removing facial thread veins than other methods of vein removal, and it also has a higher success rate than laser removal. Later stages have a high incidence of new facial thread veins appearing.
Your vascular consultant will discuss options available and suitable to you.
Reasons for Facial Thread Vein Removal
- To improve appearance: Many people suffer from facial thread veins and find that they are indeed an eyesore and that they prevent them from going out in public as much as they would like to. Facial thread veins can be genuinely embarrassing and may cause a lot of stress and anxiety in the patient suffering from them, mainly if they are located on the face, which are visible.
- To prevent future complications: Facial thread veins are known to have specific linkages with pre-existing medical conditions and may even increase the incidence of these diseases. Suppose a person has a family history of facial thread veins. In that case, one must prevent them as early as possible to prevent future complications such as vision problems, skin discoloration, and swelling or neurological complications.
- To prevent physical or mental stress: Some people suffering from facial thread veins find that they have no choice but to undergo facial thread vein removal because it is their only choice if they wish to improve their health.
- To relieve pain: Some people may experience a lot of pain and discomfort caused by facial thread veins and may feel that they need treatment to help reduce the pain and lead everyday lives with minimal pain.
- To prevent skin cancer: Some people suffering from facial thread veins may be prone to skin cancer or pre-cancerous skin growths and will therefore want to undergo facial thread vein removal to reduce the chances of getting skin cancers.
- To prevent any damage caused by facial thread veins: Some people with facial thread veins may experience discomfort due to these small lesions and feel that they need treatment to help reduce the pain caused by them.
Facial thread veins are among the most common of all skin problems, and for this reason, facial thread vein removal by sclerotherapy or laser removal is one of the most common methods used.
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