Broken Capillaries & Telangiectasia

Telangiectasia, often referred to as broken capillaries, appear as small, fine red lines on the skin, especially the face. These are caused by various factors, ranging from specific skin conditions to environmental exposures.

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Key Points

Common Dermatologic Causes

  • Rosacea  Often leads to broken capillaries, particularly around the nose and cheeks.
  • Solar Damage  Prolonged sun exposure can cause capillary walls to weaken and become visible.
  • Spider Naevus (Spider Angioma)  Characterised by a central red spot with radiating blood vessels.
  • Genetic  People with family members experiencing facial broken capillaries are more likely to have them.
  • Poikiloderma of Civatte In this condition, telangiectasia and pigmentation occurs on the neck.
  • Inappropriate use of cortisone creams  Overuse of cortisone creams on normal skin over a long period of time can cause telangiectasia to appear.

Uncommon Dermatologic Causes

  • Generalised Essential Telangiectasia  A rarer cause, involving widespread formation of telangiectasia with no known underlying systemic disease.
  • Other causes of telangiectasia include pregnancy, liver failure, scleroderma, and hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia, spider telangiectasia and generalised essential telangiectasia.

Treatment Options

Vascular laser therapy is a leading treatment for telangiectasia, effectively targeting and diminishing the appearance of these dilated vessels.

Treatment Insights

  • Selective Photothermolysis  The laser specifically targets the blood vessels, causing them to collapse and fade.
  • Types of Lasers  KTP and Nd:YAG lasers are among the preferred choices.
  • Treatment Sessions  Multiple sessions may be needed for optimal results.
  • Post-Treatment Effects  Some immediate redness or swelling can occur, usually subsiding quickly.

Effectiveness and Safety

  • Vascular lasers are highly effective in reducing the appearance of broken capillaries.
  • When conducted by experienced professionals, the treatment is safe with minimal risks.

Additional Management Strategies

  • Consistent use of sunscreen to protect against further solar-induced damage.
  • Maintaining a gentle skincare routine to avoid irritation.
  • For rosacea-related telangiectasia, identifying and managing triggers is beneficial.


Telangiectasia, although often a cosmetic concern, can be effectively treated, particularly with vascular laser therapy. 

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