Facial veins tend to occur more as we age and generally start to be visible around age 40 but we do see them in much younger patients. The exact cause of facial veins developing is not completely understood. We do know that there are some associated factors to include: sun exposure, genetics, natural aging, and some medical conditions such as hypertension and rosacea.
Facial veins are usually considered a cosmetic issue and treatment is not covered by insurance. They are more common in fair-skinned individuals and can range in size from very small to as large as a few millimeters.
- Sun Avoidance – You should protect your face with a broad-brimmed hat. The bigger the better. Avoid being outside when the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.
- Sun Block – wearing a good sunblock such as in EltaMD will decrease the damage associated with sun exposure. A good sunblock should be worn daily, even on cloudy days. UV rays can pass through clouds and cause damage to your skin.
- Topicals – there are a few topicals that can improve the appearance of facial veins. The effects are short-lived and they do not treat the problem.
- Electrosurgery / Radiofrequency – We use the Ellman Surgitron which can treat small veins with radiofrequency. This is a good approach when there are only a few veins to treat.
- BBL (Broadband Light) – this is also called intense pulsed light. This will likely require more than one treatment is very good for diffuse small vessels over larger areas. We often plan 1 session every 2 weeks for a total of 3 sessions to remove a significant portion of the smaller vessels.
- Lasers – The Cutera 1064nm laser is excellent for the treatment of medium to larger veins of the face. The laser will destroy the vein and leave the surrounding tissue undamaged. Some lasers can leave purpura which is a bruised look. Purpura is less common with the 1064nm laser.