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Broken Capillaries and How to Make Them Go Away

by Rick May 17, 2017
Broken Capillaries

If you’re reading this, you probably suffer from broken capillaries. And you most likely already know that they won’t go away on their own. In this post, we will tell you what you need to know about the different treatment options and help you select the method that works for you.

What Are Broken Capillaries?

The small blood vessels connecting veins and arteries are known as capillaries. Essentially, broken capillaries are a cluster of tiny veins that have become dilated and “broken”, creating the appearance of a reddish bruise. Broken capillaries are commonly seen on the face and legs, and unfortunately, they will not fade away or heal with time.

The medical term for Broken Capillaries is Telangiectasia and has 3 different types of appearance:

  • Arborizing: branch like
  • Spider: cartwheel shaped with a central point
  • Simple: linear right

What About Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are larger, raised, swollen blood vessels that twist and turn. They tend to protrude from the skin and are blue or purple in color. Typically, they develop in the legs and are seen through the skin.

And “Spider Veins”?

Spider veins are similar, though smaller than Varicose veins but are wispier and web-like in appearance on the surface of the skin. They are also are easily visible and are mostly seen on the legs, chest, or face. The term refers to smaller capillaries that are visible in a spider shape.

What’s the Difference?

Veins and capillaries are both types of blood vessels (as well as arteries). They are differentiated by their physical characteristics and functions.

Capillaries are finer vessels that supply blood throughout the organ for use by the organ, such as the skin, eyes, and other internal organs. Veins carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart, are larger, and contain valves to prevent backflow as the blood returns to the heart.

Is It Serious?

Just to be clear, nothing is actually “broken”.

They are caused by a backup of blood in a vein. In order to circulate blood back to the lungs to be oxygenated, our veins have valves to keep the blood moving in the right direction and prevent it from flowing backwards.

Occasionally, these valves weaken, causing blood to leak back into the vein, creating a backup. This is why spider veins appear larger than healthy veins. They usually appear on the legs due to the pressure of gravity. Leg veins must work harder to carry blood back to the heart, enduring the most pressure.
Broken Capillaries

What Causes Broken Capillaries?


You can blame your parents for this one (though they can probably relate). The most common cause of broken capillary causes is genetics. If you notice family members with broken capillaries then this is likely your source.

External Damage

Another way you can cause capillaries to “break” is rough external damage, i.e., scrubbing your face too hard, spending too much time in the sun, or sustaining an injury to the face.

The skin on your face is fragile and the blood vessels are very close to the surface so it’s easy to damage them.

Certain Conditions

Individuals who suffer from rosacea often experience broken capillaries, as do those with a history of alcohol abuse and poor circulation.

How to Treat Broken Capillaries

Laser Therapy

There are methods of treating broken capillaries, such as laser therapy or cosmetic surgery, which will remove the damaged cells from under the tissue. These methods are obviously slightly invasive and may be expensive, depending on the extent of the damage to your skin.

Oral Treatments

There are also more natural broken capillaries treatment methods that may be effective for you. Some people have reported a reduction in the appearance of broken capillaries after incorporating daily doses of Vitamin C and lysine supplements.

Topical Treatments

Others have found that rubbing grapeseed oil on the skin soothes and reduces broken capillaries over time. Vitamin E and aloe are also great healing ingredients for the skin to help minimize the look of broken capillaries and prevent further damage.


Spider vein removal can be performed through a technique called Sclerosis, which involves the injection of a sterile solution into the non-functioning vein, to cause it to recede from the surface of the skin.

How to Prevent Broken Capillaries

As with most health issues, prevention is always better than a cure.

Avoid External Damage

Taking gentle care of your skin, protecting it from the sun, and consuming alcohol in moderation are just a few ways to prevent broken capillaries.

Improve your Blood Circulation

Exercise and a balanced diet will help keep your circulation healthy and flowing. This is a key factor in preventing spider veins and broken capillaries.

Try adding these healthy foods to your routine to boost your circulation:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Cayenne peppers
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Salmon
  • Garlic
  • Ginger roots
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Goji berries
  • Watermelon
  • Avocado
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Rick is a digital editor and storyteller obsessed with both high and low culture.

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