How to Get Rid of Broken Blood Vessels

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Broken blood vessels occur most frequently on the face, legs and eyes. On the face and legs, burst capillaries cause red, purple or bluish hairline marks, also called spider veins. While broken blood vessels such as spider veins aren't usually life-threatening, they often make people self-conscious, particularly if the broken blood vessels appear on the face. Dermatologists, or physicians who treat skin problems, get rid of broken blood vessels in a variety of ways. The two most common treatment methods are sclerotherapy, which uses injections into the broken blood vessel to shrink it, and laser therapy. Both include anesthetics to minimize discomfort and can be completed in the doctor's office. Some insurance plans may cover the cost of the procedure.

  • Identify the location of the broken blood vessels. The photo demonstrates broken blood vessels on the leg, near the knee, mixed with other veinous abnormalities. Note locations on the skin where your broken blood vessels occur.

  • Find a board-certified dermatologist. Start with your medical insurance plan. Most insurance plans include lists of approved doctors. Seek a dermatologist who specializes in treatment of vein abnormalities, such as spider veins and varicose veins. This doctor will have the skills to treat broken capillaries and broken blood vessels.

  • Tell your dermatologist of any medical conditions you may have, as some conditions predispose people to broken blood vessels. Conditions that may cause broken blood vessels include rosacea, a common skin disorder usually affecting people with fair skin. Injuries can also cause broken blood vessels and capilaries. Your doctor will take a complete medical history, review the areas you point out where you want to get rid of broken blood vessels, discuss treatment plans and review options and costs with you.

  • Undergo treatment. Depending on your condition, the doctor may be able to inject medicine into the area (sclerotherapy) to shrink the broken blood vessel or use a laser to remove the vessel. Both treatments are usually done in the doctor's office and may be done the same day or at subsequent appointments, depending upon the physician.

  • Consider home treatments if you cannot afford to see a dermatologist. These include creams with Vitamin K, Vitamin E and calendula available at health food stores and pharmacies nationwide. Ice can minimize swelling for injury-caused broken blood vessels. Coverup makeup is an easy, affordable way to hide unsightly blood vessels, and such makeup is available in waterproof formulas for use on legs and arms too.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always follow doctor's recommendations before and after treatment for broken blood vessels.
  • Do not use topical creams in or near the eyes. For broken blood vessels in the eyes, seek a physician's advice.
  • Painful, swollen areas with broken blood vessels should be reviewed by a medical professional.

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  • Photo Credit Photo: Seven Oaks Consulting/Jeanne Grunert
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