Broken Capillaries & Rosacea

One of the most common concerns identified for many men and women over the age of 30 is the onset of vascularity conditions such as flushing or diffused redness, as well as the presence of broken capillaries or spider veins seen on the skin’s surface. These concerns are closely linked to a chronic inflammatory condition known as Rosacea. Rosacea predominately affects the central regions of the face, nose, and cheeks. Diagnosis is typically between 35 and 55 years of age. However, statistics reveal cases are more common in women over the age of 55. Although these vascular concerns are not life threatening, they can negatively impact an individual’s self-esteem and/or quality of life.

What causes these vascular conditions?

The onset of these vascular conditions is due to multiple factors. The precise cause of rosacea, in particular, is not completely understood. However, it appears that the condition develops due to a combination of factors. These factors often include accumulated sun damage, ageing, environmental factors such as exposure to extreme temperatures, and in women, hormonal influences such as those associated with pregnancy and menopause.

Such factors eventually lead to the deterioration or other abnormalities within the skin’s vascular walls, resulting in visible redness or what is commonly referred to as ‘flushing’. For those who suffer from rosacea, the severity of this ‘flushing’ can vary from person to person. In most cases, it begins with mild temporary flushing, and then slowly progresses to a more persistent redness or rosy cheeks. Broken capillaries are commonly seen at this stage amongst those who suffer from the debilitating condition. In fewer cases, dryness and/or flaking, skin sensitivity in the area or the presence of pimples or pustules is identified.

Frequently identified vascular concerns

Diffused Redness or ‘rosy cheeks’

Diffused redness predominately occurs as a result of blood vessels located deep in the skin becoming dilated. This is commonly seen on the face, particularly the forehead, nose and cheeks.

Telangiectasia or broken capillaries

Broken Capillaries Examples

Telangiectasia” by DermNet New Zealand is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ

Telangiectasia are visible, small linear red blood vessels often referred to as ‘broken capillaries’. These are frequently seen in vascular conditions such as poikiloderma of civatte, rosacea, and in sun damaged skin (especially in those who smoke). Incidences of broken capillaries can also be seen in inherited vascular conditions such as familial telangiectasia, benign hereditary telangiectasia, and hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia.


Examples of the rosacea condition

Rosacea Images” by DermNet New Zealand is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ

Rosacea can be further broken down into four subtypes. The most frequently diagnosed subtype is ‘Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea’ or what is commonly referred to as facial redness, often located in the central regions of the face. The second subtype, ‘Papulopustular Rosacea’, is identified by the added presence of pimples and/or pustules. The third subtype, ‘Phymatous Rosacea’, is this facial redness accompanied by an enlarged nose, where the skin on the nose usually appears thickened from excess tissue. Finally, subtype four, ‘Ocular Rosacea’, impacts the eye region. This can cause the eyes to appear bloodshot, irritated and swollen.

Leg veins

Veins located on the legs can commonly be categorised into ‘spider veins’ (smaller veins) and ‘varicose veins’ (medium to large veins). These visibly occur as a result of an underlying problem with the reverse venous flow of the body’s circulatory system. This is why these types of veins will always appear blue in nature and on the surface of the skin. These veins require a thorough diagnosis in order to determine suitable treatment. Unfortunately, at the CRC we are unable to treat varicose veins. However smaller, more superficial veins like spider veins can effectively be treated at the clinic.

Treatments for common vascular conditions

Advanced laser therapy

Medical-grade lasers are a common and highly effective treatment option to address numerous vascular conditions such as persistent flushing, broken capillaries and spider veins. Here at the CRC, we utilise specific wavelengths to thermally target the haemoglobin located in the deeper layers of the skin. This thermal response encourages the body’s lymphatic system to remove any damaged blood cells, overall minimising the appearance of redness and broken capillaries on the surface of the skin. It is important to note that this particular procedure does not kill vessels nor does it completely block the blood supply to the skin, it just assists in minimising its distinct visibility. There is minimal downtime involved with this treatment. However, for optimum results, more than one treatment may be recommended depending on the size, depth or extent of the degradation to the vascular network.

Find out more about Advanced Laser Therapy.

Treatment for Rosacea

In many instances, laser therapy is an effective method for improving the appearance of rosacea. In more advanced stages of rosacea, a combination of therapies and medical grade skin care may be required.

Intensive Skin Treatments (Clinical Chemical Peels)

Salicylic acid (BHA) in low strengths (under 30%) has been clinically proven to effectively improve the visible appearance of diffused redness and inflammation. Salicylic acid also encourages skin cell turnover, which improves the overall barrier function of the skin and aids the skin in retaining hydration levels.

Find out more about Intensive Skin Treatments.

For all vascular concerns, an initial skin analysis consultation is recommended in order to establish a suitable treatment plan to ensure optimal results are achieved. All consultations are performed by our experienced dermal clinicians and cost $50.00. Treatments vary in cost from $87.00 (intensive skin treatments) to $300 (advanced laser therapy for a full facial treatment).

Book an appointment today



The Cosmetic Refinement Clinic, Unit 7, St Giles Court
74 Gheringhap Street, Geelong VIC 3220

The Cosmetic Refinement Clinic, Suite 22, Level 2
166 Gipps Street, East Melbourne VIC 3002

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