Causes of Broken Capillaries


Broken capillaries show up on the skin as very thin, red threads. Broken capillaries are the result of the widening and narrowing of the capillary walls, which ultimately results in a tear. When the capillary tears, the blood seeps to the surface of the skin.

The widening and narrowing of the capillaries can be caused by a number of physical and environmental factors. Many of these factors can be avoided, thus decreasing your chances of developing broken capillaries.


Broken capillaries can be caused by genetics. If your parents or other immediate family members have a history of broken capillaries, the chance of you developing them later in life increases.


Women who are pregnant have an increased amount of blood flowing through their bodies. As a result, their veins enlarge, causing both varicose veins and broken capillaries.

Leg Injuries

Individuals who have suffered leg injuries may have experienced increased or decreased blood flow. Individuals who spend a great deal of time standing, followed by long periods of time sitting or lying down, are more likely to have broken capillaries as well.


Individuals who are going through hormonal changes may develop broken capillaries as their bodies adjust. This condition is common in children going through puberty, pregnant women, and women going through menopause.

Skin Damage

The skin around the face is more susceptible to damage than in the rest of the body. Therefore, broken capillaries around the face are very common. Damage caused by wind, sunburn, temperature changes, and even your glasses pressing on parts of your face can cause broken capillaries to form.

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