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Reticular Facial Veins
What Should You Do?

Reticular facial veins are present in all of us.  Just most people’s are not visible.  But when they are should you be concerned?

A reticular facial vein just under the eyebrow in older person

As in all your body arteries and veins provide nutrition and remove waste products.  It’s how your cells survive.

Reticular veins are those vessels located just under your skin such as you can see in most people’s arms.

Unless they have particularly thick skin.  Or more fat tissue under the skin.  It hides them.

That’s why you see body sculptors and builders with bulging long blue veins on their skin surface.

To define their underlying muscle shape they strip fat from their body with specific fat burning diets.  Especially in the few weeks before a competition.

Causes Of Visible Blue Face Veins

A similar situation can make your reticular face veins suddenly  appear.  Weight loss frequently seems to selectively occur early on from our faces.

If your skin is quite translucent then veins underlying it are much more visible.

Thinner skins will reveal them much more readily.  
There is a strong genetic basis to skin thickness.

But skin ageing from time, sun damage and smoking all produce fewer surface skin cell layers. 

Hence more underling details are revealed over time.  Including those veins just under your skin.

You will also find that certain lights can reveal them much more.  Often lighting over public toilet handbasin mirrors seem to do this.

Genetically also some people have larger vessels. 

Ultrasound imaging is very revealing.  There is a huge range of normal vessel diameter. 

Larger vessels will obviously be more visible under the skin.

It would be highly unusual to get varicose veins on your face. 

Those that are visible tend to be totally normal in function, even if they at times appear a little tortuous.

Environmental Causes

Higher blood flows will reveal them more. 

Therefore hot weather and exercise will make them stand out.

At times you see people with hay fever and other congestive nose and sinus problems with large veins.

As these vessels drain into deeper vessels around the eyes and nose, congestion will slow blood flow. 

Like having tourniquet or rubber band on your arm, the vessels upstream expand with more blood accumulating.

Therapies targeting the congestion will lessen the size of involved obvious face veins.

Bothersome Areas

Obvious reticular facial veins can occur anywhere on your face.  Like the one shown above on the far cheek area.

The most commonly seen ones are usually located on the temple area. 

But other areas especially those under the eyes bother people enough to want to get rid of them.

You can get larger collections in your lip too.

Other Considerations

It is possible a large vein might be a preferred drainage pathway for the face area.  Closing it might impair local circulation.

But as with most veins usually there are multiple pathways.

To be sure the vein you are bothered by is not one of these preferred and important pathways you can press them closed with hand pressure. 

If over ten to fifteen minutes you are not aware of any problems it is unlikely there would be an adverse effect closing it long term.

Treatments For Reticular Facial Veins

Treatments are possible for persistent bothersome reticular facial veins.

Usually this is best by laser. 

Long wavelengths in the infra-red region are required to penetrate deep enough through your skin.  That and enough power in a short pulse to create sufficient change in the vessel walls to close them.

Before I used lasers I did inject reticular facial veins.

You need to be cautious using this method due to the way these vessels drain to the deeper circulation. 

They can communicate with the ophthalmic veins into the cavernous sinus.  Damaging this area can produce severe problems!

For more information see the treatments details page.

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