Last Updated on February 5, 2021 by Alice Pien, MD & Asher Milgrom, PhD

There are many different treatment options when dealing with facial spider veins. From at-home options to those performed by medical professionals.

There are many different treatment options when dealing with facial spider veins. From at-home options to those performed by medical professionals.

 

Spider veins, or telangiectasia, are small clusters of veins that appear as thin reddish blue lines near the surface of the skin. Areas of the body most affected by these spider-web-looking veins are the legs, hands, neck and face, particularly around the nose, cheeks, and chin. Most spider veins are harmless but some can cause pain, burning or aching. 

When found on the face or neck, many people find them unsightly and wish to get rid of them. Fortunately for them, there are many treatment options available that are effective in removing them.

In this article we dive into the top 6 treatments to remove facial spider veins. We will cover both at-home options as well as treatments performed by medical professionals. 

At-Home Facial Spider Vein Treatments

Making your own ginger tea will help with blood circulation.

Making your own ginger tea will help with blood circulation.

1. Fresh Ginger

Ginger is a great at home option for removing facial spider veins as it naturally helps improve blood circulation. It also supports the breakdown of fibrin, a blood protein involved in the clotting of blood that collects in areas where the lining of your vein is broken.

How to use Ginger

The best way to prepare it is to slice a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger into thin pieces. Drop the slices into 2 cups of boiling water, reduce to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture, add honey, and drink while the tea is warm.

You can enjoy ginger tea 2 to 3 times each day. Please note: If you are currently taking blood pressure medication or any blood thinners you should consult your doctor before using.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is known to improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation.

Apple cider vinegar is known to improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation.

Apple cider vinegar has become known as the “cure all”. Add spider veins to the list of things it can treat.  The vinegar improves blood circulation and reduces inflammation. Both of which will help reduce the appearance of your spider veins.

How to use ACV

There are several different ways of using apple cider vinegar to remove spider veins from the face. We have found that the most effective way is to create a mild compress to apply to the affected area.

Soak a towel in raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Then place the towel on the area of your face with the veins for 15 to 20 minutes up to 3 times a day. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to try this treatment on a small inconspicuous area of skin first. If you experience irritation, dilute the ACV with water until you find the right mixture that works for your skin. 

To enhance the benefits of this treatment, drink 2 teaspoons of the ACV mixed into a glass of water with a little honey twice a day.

3. Horse Chestnut

Horse chestnuts are known to strengthen the veins and also reduce inflammation.

Horse chestnut is known to strengthen the veins and also reduce inflammation.

Horse chestnut has been shown to strengthen the veins and also reduce inflammation and swelling throughout the entire body. This will help reduce the appearance of any facial veins you have as well as minimize any discomfort the veins may be causing you.

How to use Horse Chestnut

Horse chestnut can be used in several different ways. Applying the seed gel directly to the vein twice a day is one of the simplest methods of treatment.

You can also combine 1 tablespoon of horse chestnut tincture with 10 tablespoons of distilled witch hazel. Apply this mixture directly to the area with the veins twice a day.

Some people have also found that taking horse chestnut supplements can be helpful in reducing the appearance of facial veins.  Consult your doctor for the correct dosage amount.

If you are pregnant or nursing, have kidney or liver disease, or are taking blood thinning medications, you should avoid ingesting horse chestnut.

4. Massage

Regularly massaging the area where the spider veins have formed can help reduce their appearance. It improves blood circulation in the area and can also help reduce any pain or inflammation in the area.

You’ll want to use extra-virgin olive or coconut oil to get the most benefit from the massage. Both of these penetrate into the skin quickly and have have exceptional antioxidant properties.

How to Perform the Massage

You will want to warm the oil slightly. This can be achieved by simply rubbing your hands together. Then gently but firmly massage the oil into the area with the veins. You should use gentle strokes and massage the affected area  for 10 minutes, 3 to 4 times daily.

Professional Facial Spider Vein Treatments

Laser spider vein removal has overtaken sclerotherapy as the "Gold Standard" of facial spider vein removal. Pictured above is a before and after photo immediately following laser treatment.

Laser spider vein removal has overtaken sclerotherapy as the “Gold Standard” of facial spider vein removal. Pictured above is a before and after photo immediately following laser treatment.

5. Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy being performed beneath the eyes.

Sclerotherapy being performed beneath the eyes.

If at-home treatments for spider veins on the face have not worked for you, you may be a candidate for sclerotherapy. Be aware that there is some controversy surrounding performing this treatment for facial spider veins as there is a potential for necrosis and embolization due to the complex vascular anatomy of the face.

During the procedure, your doctor will inject a solution that scars and closes off the injured veins. This forces the blood to reroute through healthier pathways. You can actually see the vein shutting down and closing as the sclerosing agent passes through it. 

Smaller veins will usually disappear after the first treatment. Larger veins may fade in a few weeks and it also may be necessary to inject them more than once

Sclerotherapy does not require anesthesia and is performed right in your doctor’s office. You may experience some swelling, itching, or skin discoloration in the affected area. The most often reported adverse effect was site injection pain. 

6. Laser Treatment

Laser treatment being performed in the crease of the nose.

Laser treatment being performed in the crease of the nose.

Laser vein removal is another alternative to the above at-home remedies and in recent years has overtaken sclerotherapy as the “gold standard” in facial vein removal.

This treatment works by targeting the hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The laser energy vaporizes the blood causing the unwanted vein to instantly collapse. Laser vein removal requires no incision or needles, is considered minimally invasive and with the use of a topical numbing cream can be completely painless.

Typically, facial veins require 1 to 2 laser treatments be completely removed. After the treatment the treated veins may turn slightly purple for a few days before completely fading away and disappearing.

The results of laser vein removal are permanent, however, as you age, new spider veins and broken capillaries may appear in the same spot as those that were treated.

In Conclusion

Those annoying thin web-like networks of veins that appear on our faces often occur due to a backup of blood in the vessel that can be caused by hormonal changes, sun exposure or an injury. Whatever the cause, there are a number of of different treatment options available to remove spider veins from the face.

Whether you are looking for an at-home or in-office treatment performed by a medical professional, you should be able to find an option that works for your unique skin. However, it is important to note that no matter what treatment you decide to go with, there is a possibility that you will still see slight ghost-like traces of the veins even after completing the procedure.

References

  1. Wu HC, Horng CT, Tsai SC, Lee YL, Hsu SC, Tsai YJ, Tsai FJ, Chiang JH, Kuo DH, Yang JS. Relaxant and vasoprotective effects of ginger extracts on porcine coronary arteries. Int J Mol Med. 2018 Apr;41(4):2420-2428.
  2. Al-Rawaf HA, Gabr SA, Alghadir AH. Molecular Changes in Diabetic Wound Healing following Administration of Vitamin D and Ginger Supplements: Biochemical and Molecular Experimental Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 Jul 21;2019:4352470.
  3. LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2012–. Horse Chestnut. 2018 Mar 30.
  4. Gallelli L. Escin: a review of its anti-edematous, anti-inflammatory, and venotonic properties. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2019 Sep 27;13:3425-3437.
  5. Wu Z , Xia Z , Wu B , Wei F , Lv X , Xie Y , Xu S , Xu J , Chen H , Huang F . Lipid profiling in serum from apolipoprotein E-knock out mice fed with different diets and its application to the study of the regulatory effect on lipid metabolism. Food Funct. 2018 Oct 17;9(10):5103-5114.
  6. Nam CH, Kim MH, Hong SP, Park BC. Fractional 532-nm KTP diode laser and 595-nm pulsed dye laser in treatment of facial telangiectatic erythema. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019 Jun;18(3):783-787.
  7. Goldman MP, Weiss RA, Brody HJ, Coleman WP 3rd, Fitzpatrick RE. Treatment of facial telangiectasia with sclerotherapy, laser surgery, and/or electrodesiccation: a review. J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1993 Oct;19(10):899-906; quiz 909-10.
  8. McGregor S, Miceli A, Krishnamurthy K. Treatment of Facial Telangiectases With Glycerin Sclerotherapy. Dermatol Surg. 2019 Jul;45(7):950-953.
  9. Bowes LE, Goldman MP. Sclerotherapy of reticular and telangiectatic veins of the face, hands, and chest. Dermatol Surg. 2002 Jan;28(1):46-51.