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Broken Capillaries

Broken capillaries, which appear as red, bruise-like spots on the skin, can occur anywhere on the body, but they are particularly noticeable on the face. Capillaries, are tiny veins under the surface of the skin, that are very delicate and can break easily. Telangiectasia rosacea, the medical term for broken capillaries, can be caused by a number of factors. Since capillaries are close to the surface of the skin, they can be damaged by simply scrubbing your skin too hard, washing with very hot water, sun exposure, and facial injuries. Broken capillaries are also associated with liver damage, often as a result of alcoholism. The tendency to develop broken capillaries is hereditary, as well. As we age, our skin becomes thinner, and broken capillaries beneath our skin will become more prominent. Measures can be taken to prevent broken capillaries, such as washing your face gently with warm water and using sunscreen regularly; however, since broken capillaries cannot repair on their own, many people seek medical treatment to diminish the appearance of telangiectasia rosacea on their face.

The first step in eliminating unwanted broken capillaries is to make an appointment. It is important that your skin condition is properly diagnosed as broken capillaries before proceeding with any treatment. Other skin complications can sometimes look like broken capillaries, but can be an indication of bigger problem. During the examination, the doctor will look at your skin and review your medical history in order to recommend the best treatment possible. For broken capillaries, laser treatment or topical medicines are the two most common treatment types that Dr. Ostad recommends. Only after examining your skin, will your doctor be able to determine which treatment will be effective for you. Your doctor will also discuss ways to prevent broken capillaries from occurring in the future.

Laser therapy can be used to remove broken capillaries. Dr. Ostad will determine the best type of laser treatment for you after examining your skin. Laser therapy is the most effective treatment due to the accuracy of the beam of light positioned to destroy the targeted capillaries. The hemoglobin in the veins will absorb the beam of light, thus destroying the capillaries without causing damage to the skin above them. After the vein walls have collapsed, the body will reabsorb the destroyed capillaries within three to four weeks, and the capillaries will no longer be visible. The treatments are long-lasting, but follow-up treatments may be required as new capillaries break and become visible.

Another approach is to use certain topical medicines to remove or reduce the appearance of broken capillaries. There are a variety of prescription and over-the-counter topical creams that can be used to treat broken capillaries. Trentinoin, a retinoid medication, is a common ingredient in topical creams. It works by effecting the growth of skin cells and has been effective in treating certain cases of broken capillaries. While using any retinoid medication, you must avoid sun exposure and wear sunscreen while outdoors. If you’d like to treat redness or enhance your skin, please call to make an appointment with our practitioners. We will be able to recommend the most appropriate course of treatment to eliminate your broken capillaries and improve your appearance.