These thin, colourful lines on the skin can appear anywhere on the body and are a cosmetic concern for many sufferers. The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery found that 50 to 55 percent of American women complain about spider veins. When spider veins appear on the face, it is usually around the nose and eyes and are due to different reasons as to ones that appear on legs or other areas.
Spider veins can develop from a venous deficiency. The deficiency comes from a back-flow of blood in the veins; the pressure causes damage to the vessel walls. Prolonged inflammation, high blood pressure and obesity are some of the medical causes for venous deficiency. Sometimes, a non-medical condition causes venous deficiency. Rubbing or washing the face too hard can cause broken capillaries, especially around the eye area.
Ageing can cause weakening of veins and skin, and the aging skin can make the spider veins more noticeable. Generally, smaller spider veins are reddish, and larger spider veins are bluish. The colour of the spider vein stems from the repair capabilities of the veins affected. The broken capillary in younger skin can delegate its function to a larger vein and remain reddish until it repairs. Aging capillaries may not be able to depend on larger veins to do the job if the larger veins are also broken and weak.
Skin conditions, such as rosacea and eczema and other inflammatory conditions, can cause spider veins. Any skin condition that causes prolonged dilation or irritation can put pressure on veins and delicate capillaries.
Free radicals are responsible for spider veins on the face, more so than spider veins that develop on the legs. Too much sun exposure can cause spider veins or broken capillaries on the face, especially on the skin under the eyes. Smoking can damage arteries and veins, but smoking also causes premature aging, making the spider veins more evident. Capillary repair may take longer than those who do not smoke. Second-hand smoke, pollution and toxin exposure can also contribute to the development of spider veins.