What is Telangiectasia and What are Effective Dermatologic Treatments?

Frequently referred to as spider veins, telangiectasia is a common medical condition marked by a widening of small blood vessels near the skin’s surface. Affected veins, which can measure from 1 to 3 millimeters in width, are known as telangiectases. Telangiectases typically appear as clusters of thin red or pink streaks that resemble a spider’s web.

Recognizing Signs of Telangiectasia

Telangiectases can appear anywhere on the body, but they often develop in uncovered areas that are visible to others, including the hands, lips, chin, and other parts of the face. In some cases, the condition causes mild to moderate itching or pain. Many individuals are bothered less by the physical discomfort and more by the aesthetic ramifications of the condition.

What Risks do Spider Veins and Broken Blood Vessels Pose?

Possible risk factors and/or situations for patients struggling with telangiectasia include the following:

  • Frequent exposure to sunlight, wind, and/or extreme temperatures
  • Pregnancy
  • Acne or skin lesions
  • Heavy use of alcohol
  • Regular use of certain oral or topical medications, including corticosteroids

The elderly, people who sit or stand excessively during the day, and people with certain conditions that affect their skin’s resilience, are also at greater risk of developing telangiectasia.

Treatment Options

Individuals who wish to treat their telangiectasia have several options, including laser treatment, conventional surgery, and sclerotherapy, a process that involves injection of salt water or a chemical solution into the affected area. Any cosmetic procedure used for the treatment of telangiectasia should be carried out by a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Tony Nakhla of OC Skin Institute.

Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia

Although telangiectasia is generally not harmful, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, or HTT, is a serious and potentially life-threatening variation of the condition. Also known as Osler–Weber–Rendu disease, HTT is a rare genetic disorder in which vein clusters develop on a person’s internal organs. Affected organs can include the liver, lungs, and brain. Vein clusters that are the result of HTT can burst and lead to major internal bleeding.

Contact Orange County Skin Institute today if you are struggling with broken blood vessels, spider veins also known as telangiectasia and would like to undergo effective and safe treatment.