Capillaries are small blood vessels that connect arteries and veins. Broken capillaries on the face are often found on the cheeks and around the nose, and appear as small spidery red, pink or blue marks beneath the surface of the skin.
What causes broken (facial) capillaries?
When the capillary walls widen and narrow too quickly they can cause the vessel walls to tear and the blood to leak out. Broken capillaries have a number of causes which include environmental and genetic factors, skin type, and even natural aging. The primary causes are aging and sun damage that cause the skin to become thinner and lose collagen. As collagen is a protein in the body that helps the skin stay firm and elastic, its loss makes the capillaries more vulnerable. Other reasons for broken capillaries include inflammatory conditions, excess pressure on the skin, extreme weather conditions and genetic predisposition. Broken capillaries are harmless and generally cause no pain or discomfort.
Who suffers from broken capillaries?
While people who have fair skin are more prone to develop broken capillaries, especially on the face, almost anyone can suffer from this problem at one point or another. Broken capillaries are also more prevalent amongst individuals with thin or sensitive skin or people suffering from other skin problems like rosacea or severe acne.