What causes and how to treat Telangiectasia?

Symptom Database

Telangiectasia, commonly known as spider veins or broken capillaries, is a vascular disorder that affects many individuals. It is characterized by the appearance of small, dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin, resulting in facial redness and other visible symptoms. While telangiectasia can be a cosmetic concern for some, it can also be a sign of an underlying health issue. In this article, we will explore the causes of telangiectasia and discuss various treatment options available to manage this condition.

Understanding Telangiectasia

Telangiectasia refers to the dilation of small blood vessels, particularly capillaries, which results in their visible appearance on the skin’s surface. These dilated blood vessels can appear as red, blue, or purple lines or web-like patterns, resembling spider legs or broken capillaries. Telangiectasia most commonly occurs on the face, particularly on the cheeks, nose, and chin, but it can also affect other areas of the body.

There are several factors that contribute to the development of telangiectasia:

  • Genetics: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing telangiectasia.
  • Sun exposure: Prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can weaken the blood vessel walls, leading to their dilation.
  • Rosacea: Telangiectasia is often associated with rosacea, a chronic skin condition characterized by facial redness, flushing, and acne-like bumps.
  • Age: As we age, the elasticity of our blood vessels decreases, making them more prone to dilation and visible appearance.
  • Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels, such as those experienced during pregnancy or menopause, can contribute to the development of telangiectasia.

Treatment Options for Telangiectasia

While telangiectasia cannot be completely cured, there are several treatment options available to manage its appearance and minimize symptoms:

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is one of the most effective methods for reducing the appearance of telangiectasia. It involves using a laser device to target and destroy the dilated blood vessels, causing them to fade over time. Laser treatment is non-invasive and typically requires multiple sessions for optimal results. It is important to consult with a qualified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to determine the most suitable laser treatment for your specific condition.


Proper skincare can play a significant role in managing telangiectasia. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Protect your skin from the sun: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF daily, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during peak sun hours.
  • Use gentle skincare products: Avoid harsh cleansers and exfoliants that can irritate the skin and exacerbate telangiectasia. Opt for mild, non-abrasive products instead.
  • Manage rosacea symptoms: If telangiectasia is associated with rosacea, it is essential to manage the underlying condition. Consult with a dermatologist for appropriate treatment options.

Other Treatment Options

In addition to laser treatment and skincare, there are other treatment options available for telangiectasia:

  • Sclerotherapy: This procedure involves injecting a solution into the affected blood vessels, causing them to collapse and fade.
  • Electrocautery: In this procedure, a small electric current is used to heat and destroy the dilated blood vessels.
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy: IPL uses broad-spectrum light to target and reduce the appearance of telangiectasia.

It is important to note that the effectiveness of these treatments may vary depending on the severity of telangiectasia and individual factors. Consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your specific condition.


Telangiectasia, or spider veins, can be a bothersome condition for many individuals. While it cannot be completely cured, there are various treatment options available to manage its appearance and minimize symptoms. Laser treatment, skincare, and other procedures like sclerotherapy and IPL therapy can effectively reduce the visibility of telangiectasia. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable treatment plan based on individual factors. Additionally, practicing sun protection and managing underlying conditions like rosacea can help prevent the development or worsening of telangiectasia. By taking proactive steps and seeking appropriate treatment, individuals can effectively manage telangiectasia and regain confidence in their skin’s appearance.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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