If you don’t have enough good reasons to avoid popping pimples on your face, the threat broken capillaries (also known as broken blood vessels) may be a big enough risk to help you adopt a “hands off” policy. Treating them involves a trip to your dermatologist’s office, so get the scoop on how to avoid getting them in the first place.
What Are They
Broken capillaries on the face create a permanent, red splotch that is typically flat in texture but has all the redness of a pimple or the mark that is left on the bridge of your nose after wearing a pair of too-tight eyeglasses. Although common on the face, you can also get them on your neck, chest and legs.
How to Detect Them
While looking in the mirror, push down on the reddened area with your fingertip as you move it across the area. If your skin appears lighter as it is squeezed, it is a broken capillary. If not, you may have a larger vascular problem that requires a resurfacing laser for removal.
What Causes Them
Genetic factors, sun damage, surgery and skin trauma can all lead to broken capillaries, according to NY-based facial plastic surgeon and owner of Marotta Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. James C. Marotta.
Who Is At Risk
Certain people are more susceptible including women with lighter skin tones and those of Northern European descent. The appearance of broken capillaries tends to run in families and is genetically inherited.
How to Prevent Them
Protect your skin from the sun by wearing broad spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF number and limit sun exposure. And of course, avoid skin damage and trauma – so remember, no more squeezing, ladies!
How to Cover Them Temporarily
An ultra-powerful concealer is the best way to get long-term coverage on your broken capillaries. A long-wearing, waterproof blend will give you confidence from day to night. Some options include Veil Cosmetic Camouflage and Make Up For Ever’s Extreme Camouflage Cream.
How to Correct Them Permanently
Marotta says broken capillaries on the face can be treated with a pulsed light or Nd:Yag laser. In the case of generalized redness or rosacea, he recommends topical medications like Metrogel or oral treatment with tetracycline or minocyline. Some MD’s also treat broken capillaries with an injectable solution that dissolves them, but this treatment is discouraged on the face. Although mild, the chemical solution is not considered safe in such close proximity to the brain, according to “A More Beautiful You” author Robert M. Freund.