Vein Treatment

What Causes Varicose Veins On Your Face

What Triggers Those Unsightly Varicose Veins on Your Face?

While commonly afflicting legs, ropey dilated varicose blood vessels may also unexpectedly protrude on faces. Read on for causes, symptoms, and treatment outlooks for these frustrating facial venous blemishes.

Facial Vein Anatomy

Before examining dysfunctional face veins themselves, let’s review standard facial vascular anatomy. A vast network of arteries and veins constantly circulates blood to nourish facial structures while draining waste products away.

Arterial Supply

Facial arteries branching from the carotid arteries in the neck supply well-oxygenated blood to structures like the nose, lips, cheeks, and forehead.

Venous Drainage

Small veins then gather spent blood, merging into bigger vessels and ultimately linking to the jugular veins emptying down through the chest. These veins have tiny valves to prevent backflows.

Risk Factors

Genetics contributes greatly towards vein weakness in the legs and face. Additionally, gender, age, pregnancy, obesity, lack of movement, or repetitive strain also predispose towards facial venous insufficiencies.

What Exactly Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins form when valves inside veins stop functioning properly. Blood can then flow backward and pool inside the veins instead of pumping efficiently towards the heart. The increased pressure enlarges and widens veins until they twist, swell, and darken.

On legs, common saphenous veins or branches get affected. But face veins can also malfunction and bloat in a similar fashion, marring appearance with spider web-like broken capillaries or raised bumpy bluish ropes.

Causes of Varicose Facial Veins

So why do previously invisible well-functioning facial veins sometimes transform into obvious varicose veins later – usually by middle age? A few key factors converge:


If your parents battled facial spider veins or rosacea vascular issues, you likely inherited susceptible vein walls and valves.


Over decades of exposure to ultraviolet sun damage, vessel walls weaken just like aging skin does.


From puberty to menopause shifts, facial veins must adapt to hormone fluctuations, sometimes leaving them unable to constrict correctly long-term due to loss of tone.

Sun Damage

Cumulative sun exposure degrades supportive collagen around veins while the UV radiation also inflames vessels.

In these ways, genetics deal you prone-to-dilation vessels while aging and environmental factors further weaken the facial vascular network until embarrassed, unsightly varicosity forms.

Complications of Facial Varicose Veins

If left untreated over years, progressive venous congestion on the face sets up a vicious cycle of fluid buildup and swelling which further overloads distressed veins.

Possible complications include:

  • Permanent vascular “spiders” marring skin
  • Problematic blood pooling
  • Surface red and purple discoloration
  • Acne-like breakouts or rosacea
  • Facial throbbing, burning, or itching
  • Hemorrhage concerns

So don’t write off slowly expanding facial varicosities as just a cosmetic nuisance. Seeking treatment helps avoid future discomfort or medical complications down the road.

Treatment Options for Face Veins

From injections to lasers, multiple minimally invasive medical options now remedy unsightly facial veins in an office visit or two with minimal downtime or scarring.


Direct injections of a special chemical solution into problem veins cause localized scarring that seals vessels shut so blood flow redirects permanently without surgical vein stripping.

After a few tiny injections per visit, treated vessels fade substantially within 4-6 weeks. Small complications like temporary redness or bruising may appear as veins heal. Very rarely, ulcers or skin necrosis surface post-treatment. Proper injection technique minimizes risks.

Laser & Pulsed Light Therapy

By targeting intense pulses of light energy at discolored vessels, laser treatments externally seal leaky veins shut. This restores normal skin appearance without injections in 1-5 painless sessions. Minimal risks exist.

Always seek properly credentialed dermatologists, plastic surgeons, or phlebologists certified in both laser therapy and delicate facial vein sclerotherapy procedures. Their specialized vascular expertise helps ensure precision treatment and optimal amendments.

Prevention Tips: Protecting Facial Veins

Although largely hereditary or age-related, adopting some preventative habits helps stave off future unsightly varicose veins on the face:

  • Protect skin religiously from UV sunlight damage
  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight to avoid obesity
  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule
  • Manage stress levels with self-care activities
  • Incorporate frequent low-impact exercise

While not guaranteeing flawless facial veins forever, caring for general health and skin does bolster vascular resilience.


At What Age Do Varicose Veins Start On The Face?

Most often facial venous insufficiency emerges visibly in patients ages 45-65 years old. However, vein dysfunction begins years earlier below the surface.

Why Do My Cheeks Redden With Wine?

Alcohol and spicy foods may temporarily flare rosacea and visible veins by dilating vessels. Limit intake if flushed skin concerns you.

Should Facial Veins Appear Dark Purple?

Yes, facial varicose veins often seem darker with thicker vessel walls compared to body varicosities. Therapy can effectively fade this color.

Completion words

Via a mix of genetic luck and gradual weakening from age, sun damage, and hormonal shifts, certain unlucky adults develop twisted veins on visual areas like the face. Left unchecked, these blood vessels may continue expanding. Fortunately, properly administered minimally invasive injections or laser treatments now safely reduce the visibility of facial varicose veins with minimal downtime when performed by qualified specialists. Don’t tolerate uncomfortable or embarrassing inflamed facial veins – seek solutions.


My name is Selina, a medical specialist blogger helping people access treatment for 5+ years. Although blogging awhile, only recently deeply engaged. This past year my most productive, providing hospital reviews and info on symptoms, diagnoses and diseases. Also offer guidelines to help readers navigate healthcare. Goal to continue increased content pace to assist many. Aim to facilitate treatment and empower advocacy through writing.

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