Facial Veins & Spider Naevi
Facial veins are a common issue. They look like small spider veins and are most commonly found on the sides of the nose. They can however develop anywhere on the face. Many people will find their appearance a cosmetic nuisance that often needs to be camouflaged.
People with all skin types can be affected by facial telangiectasia but the problem is more common in people with lighter skin type as they are more susceptible to the causes of facial thread veins. The problem is also more noticeable on people with a lighter skin type. Sometimes people can find multiple facial thread veins embarrassing as red faces can trigger unfavourable associations such as excessive alcohol consumption.
Rosacea is a skin disease that affects many individuals. There are varying types of rosacea, but the underlying problem is a low-grade skin inflammation that leads to increase in the production of new blood vessels on the central facial regions (nose, cheeks, chin). As a result, rosacea sufferers can suffer with a high degree of facial redness and thread veins that can be unsightly and embarrassing. The condition can is chronic but can be treated with a variety of topical treatments and medication. Once under control laser treatment can be used to help diminish the redness and reduce symptoms of burning/heat sensation, blushing and flushing.
It is important to understand that rosacea is not a cure for Rosacea. At present Rosacea cannot be cured. It can only be controlled. Laser is a treatment for redness which is one of the symptoms of rosacea. It works by destruction and reduction of the increased number of blood vessels in the superficial skin found in Rosacea sufferers. Laser treatment in Rosacea is ongoing and requires regular maintenance due to the fact that the underlying pathology cannot be completely switched off.
Despite the ongoing need laser treatment has provided patients suffering with Rosacea a much longer lasting suppression of redness without the need for daily topicals or camouflage.
Causes of Facial Thread Veins
Factors contributing to the development of facial spider veins include:
- Sun damage
- Inherited disorders
- Liver disease
- Reactions to topical irritants
- Hormonal shifts associated with pregnancy and menopaus
These are small dilated blood vessels under the skin surface that look like a little central red dot with radiating little red vessels. Hence the name spider naevus or spider angioma. They can be treated in the same way as any other spider vein.
Laser is a gold standard in the treatment of facial thread veins. When the appropriate laser device is used treatment is quick and efficient. Simple cases can be done in a single treatment. More complex cases may take 2-3 treatments.
The most effective lasers for the treatment of facial veins are as follows:
Long pulsed NdYAG Laser (1064nm)
Suitable for larger calibre deeper facial thread veins
KTP Laser (532nm)
Suitable for finer thread veins
Pulsed Dye Laser (595nm)
Suitable for the treatment of very fine vessels which cannot be seen by the naked eye. This laser is often used in the treatment of the generalised redness (caused by a high density of micro-vessels invisible to the naked eye)
In the hands of an experienced laser surgeon such as Dr Hussein, facial thread vein treatment carries very little risk thanks to the target specificity of lasers. This is why they are the gold standard. Treatment is quick and effective and the inconvenience of mild crusting, small bruises and a little redness is all that is encountered for 2-3 days post procedure.
If treating generalised redness such as that found in patients suffering with rosacea the more effective mode of laser treatment is that which causes bruising. Unfortunately bruising from Pulsed Dye Laser treatment for Rosacea can last for up to 7-10 days depending on severity. This can make this type of a laser treatment a little bit of a nuisance in terms of social life. However, the benefits in terms of reduction in redness and flushing symptoms are worth the downtime.
The true complications of laser are as follows:
- Bruising (Transient)
- Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (Transient)
- Burn (Rare 1 in 1000)
- Scarring (Possible if a burn occurs)
- Hypopigmention (exceptionally rare)
As with any complication experience, knowledge and skill are all factors that help to achieve great outcomes with a minimum of risk. This is why choosing an expert like Dr Hussein will maximise outcomes and minimise risk.
DR HUSSEIN CASE GALLERY
Treatment is based on the size of areas to be treated.
- Very minor area/lesion – 1 x 1cm: £280
- Minor area (nose): £335
- Intermediate area (nose and cheeks): £415
- Large area (whole face): £480