Broken Blood Vessels on Face: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Broken Blood Vessels on Face - Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Small broken blood vessels on your face can leave your face with a red, blotchy appearance. While the broken blood vessels or capillaries don’t pose any health risks, they are unsightly and can affect your self-confidence. The appearance of tiny red veins under the skin of your face happens when the veins become enlarged (called telangiectasia) and dilated.

For some people, the appearance of burst capillaries on their face is a hereditary condition. However, there are a number of other reasons for broken blood vessels on your face. Some of these are extreme weather conditions, exposure to UV rays, rosacea, or drinking too much alcohol. Sometimes, even sneezing or vomiting can cause the capillaries in your face to pop.

Depending on the cause of the broken blood vessels, you may be able to naturally reduce the blotchy complexion on your face. Many home remedies for broken capillaries help to shrink the dilated capillaries and reduce the redness on your face. For example, witch hazel is a natural astringent, vitamin C is helpful for your skin, and apple cider vinegar can reduce the look of broken veins on your face.

In the article, you will learn about the various causes of broken blood vessels on your face. We will also look at what you can do to prevent broken capillaries and what natural treatments can improve the look of the skin around your cheeks, chin, eyes, and nose.

Causes of Broken Blood Vessels on Face

Knowing the causes of red broken blood vessels on your face can help to prevent more of them from appearing. Even if the tiny veins in your skin are prone to breaking, there is much you can to avoid this happening.

Because of their appearance, broken capillaries are sometimes called spider veins. This is because the broken blood vessels look like a small web of red or blue lines just under the surface of your skin. Spider veins can affect your legs and are closely linked to varicose veins, or they can appear on your face. Another name for broken capillaries is thread veins.


Genetics can affect the appearance of broken blood vessels on your face. For example, Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that hereditary factors can predispose a person to having red spider-like veins.1

Extreme weather

Exposure to extreme hot or cold weather can affect the veins on your face and cause them to pop. The result can be a thread-like appearance of tiny red veins in your face. Extreme hot or cold temperature can affect your body’s circulation and cause your facial skin to flush.

In extreme weather, you should always protect your face from over exposure to the elements to prevent facial flushing. You should also avoid washing your face with very hot or very cold water to reduce the possibility of veins breaking.

Exposure to UV rays

The American Skin Association says that too much exposure to UV rays can also cause broken capillaries to appear on your face. The researchers say that the sun’s rays damage the tiny blood vessels in your face causing them to become permanently dilated. This can leave you with broken capillaries around your nose, cheeks, and chin.2

The best way to prevent broken capillaries in your face due to sunburn is to always protect your skin with high SPF sunscreen or wear a large-brim hat.


Regularly drinking too much alcohol can cause your blood vessels to dilate leaving your face with thread veins and broken capillaries. Dermatologist Dr. Susan Simpkin says that overuse of alcohol causes the brain to incorrectly regulate vascular control. This can cause a persistent red face because of broken blood vessels under the skin on your cheeks.3

Dr. Simpkin also says that damage to your liver from consuming too much alcohol can also cause spider veins to appear on your face, neck, chest, and abdomen.


Rosacea is a chronic skin condition which causes the veins in your face to become enlarged. This can result in having a permanently “flushed” complexion and broken capillaries in your cheeks. Dr. Maria Marzella on WebMD says that rosacea is a cause of broken capillaries on your face.4

Sneezing or vomiting

One reason for a sudden appearance of tiny broken blood vessels on your face is that they have popped when you sneezed or vomited. Dr. Rod Moser on WebMD says that as well as causing broken capillaries, sneezing can make tiny veins in your eyes to burst – a condition called subconjunctival hemorrhaging.5

How to Treat Broken Blood Vessels on Face Naturally

After looking at the causes of broken blood vessels on your face, it’s clear that reducing alcohol intake, using high SPF sunscreen, and taking care of your skin can help prevent capillaries breaking.

If you are already bothered by the appearance of thread veins or spider veins, what can you do to diminish their appearance? Here are some natural remedies for broken blood vessels that you can try at home.

Vitamin C and lysine

Taking vitamin C and the amino acid lysine may help to reduce the appearance of broken blood vessels in your face. Vitamin C is needed to keep your skin healthy and it can also help strengthen your veins. Some studies suggest that a combination of vitamin C and lysine helps to boost your cardiovascular system.

The journal Antioxidant & Redox Signaling reported that vitamin C plays an important role in your circulation and keeping your blood vessels healthy. Researchers found that vitamin C helps blood vessels retain their elasticity and helps collagen form on the membrane of blood vessels.6

There are also some studies showing that lysine is needed to keep your veins healthy and prevent them from weakening.7 You can read more about the health benefits of lysine and which foods contain this amino acid in my article about the amazing health benefits of L-lysine.

Some doctors recommend making sure that your diet has enough vitamin C to keep blood veins strong. You can also try taking vitamin C and lysine supplements to help prevent more broken capillaries appearing on your face. However, before taking a supplement with your diet, you should speak to your doctor to know the proper quantities.

Witch hazel

Witch hazel has astringent properties which can help make broken blood vessels on your face look smaller. The natural tannins in witch hazel help to make pores look smaller and they have natural antioxidant properties.

A study into the effect of applying witch hazel to skin with damaged blood vessels showed that it has a therapeutic effect. For example, the journal Alternative Medicine Review reported that witch hazel has a hemostatic effect. This means that it helps keep blood within a damaged blood vessel. The researchers said that witch hazel has long been used to treat varicose veins.8

You can use witch hazel to help reduce the appearance of broken facial blood vessels or spider veins. Just apply witch hazel soaked in a cotton pad to the broken blood vessels on face. Repeat 2-3 times a day to help reduce the blotchy appearance caused by spider veins.

Butcher’s broom

Another natural ingredient that can help to reduce the appearance of broken capillaries on face and improve your complexion is butcher’s broom extracts. Butcher’s broom is a small evergreen shrub that is used to improve circulation and constrict veins.

The Alternative Medicine Review reported that there is growing scientific evidence to support the traditional use of butcher’s broom for the treatment of varicose veins. For example, human trials have shown that taking butcher’s broom extract showed improvement in the venous tone and better circulation.8

Butcher’s broom is also one of the best natural remedies to relieve hemorrhoids.

Apple cider vinegar

Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help the battle against broken capillaries on your face and improve the appearance of your skin. There are plenty of reasons to wash your face with apple cider vinegar and reducing spider veins is just one of them.

The journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reported that apple cider vinegar, alongside the treatment suggested by the doctor, can help shrink the appearance of blood vessels under the skin. Researchers found that by applying a compress of apple cider vinegar, there was a decrease in the symptoms of swollen and broken veins.9

According to the research, after 3 months, the external application of ACV was found to increase the effect of conservative treatment and decrease symptoms of spider veins without causing any side effects.

To use apple cider vinegar to help reduce broken blood vessels in your face, you can apply raw ACV to the affected area. Precaution – because the skin on the face is delicate, it’s best to dilute the ACV with water and start with applying it for a shorter period of time to see how your skin reacts. To start off with, you could try diluting the cider vinegar with equal parts of water. This is what you should do to treat the broken blood vessels:

  • Soak a cotton pad or a piece of gauze in the diluted ACV home remedy.
  • Apply the ACV to the broken capillaries on your face.
  • Leave it on your face for up to 15 minutes.
  • Repeat twice a day until you can no longer see the broken blood vessels.

Horse chestnut extracts

Extracts from horse chestnut help to improve the appearance of broken blood vessels (not just on your face) and varicose veins. Horse chestnut contains a compound called aescin which helps promote blood vessel health. Horse chestnut extracts also have anti-inflammatory properties and help to improve circulation and blood vein tone.

The journal Archives of Dermatology found that regularly taking horse chestnut extracts can help treat various conditions of the veins. For example, taking horse chestnut extracts regularly can help to reduce the symptoms of varicose veins and reduce vascular leakage.10

Other Treatments to Get Rid of Broken Blood Vessels on Face

If you find that home remedies don’t provide enough improvement in minimizing broken capillaries on your face, there are medical procedures to eliminate or shrink the appearance of broken capillaries on the face and to improve the skin complexion.

According to doctors on WebMD, sclerotherapy is a popular method to get rid of spider veins.11 Sclerotherapy involves injecting a liquid into the broken blood vessels to destroy the vein. This method of spider vein removal requires great skill and precision to avoid side effects in the tissue surrounding the vein. After treatments with sclerotherapy, spider veins generally disappear in three to six weeks. Once gone, the broken blood vessels don’t return, but you may develop new broken capillaries.

Laser therapy and intense light pulse (ILP) are another popular methods to get rid of unsightly spider veins. The heat from the laser and the light therapy destroys the vein and eventually the thread line from the broken blood vessel disappears.

How to Prevent Broken Blood Vessels Appearing on Face

Although many home remedies can help to diminish the appearance of broken capillaries on your face, it is much better to prevent them in the first place. This can save you a lot of time and money on vein removal treatments and procedures.

Here are some practical tips on how to avoid blood vessels breaking under the skin on your face.

  • Avoid exposing your face to extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. This means wrapping a scarf around your face in cold, windy weather. Always wear sunscreen if your face is in the sun.
  • Cut down on alcohol consumption as alcohol can weaken the capillaries in your face.
  • Wash your face with lukewarm water, rather than using very hot or cold water.
  • Keep your home at a steady temperature.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources:
  1. WebMD. Varicose veins and spider veins.
  2. AmericanSkin. Sun safety.
  3. DermNetNZ. Cutaneous adverse effects of alcohol
  4. WebMD. Broken capillaries around my nose and on my chin.
  5. WebMD. Can sneezing cause broken blood vessels around eyes?
  6. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2013 Dec 10; 19(17): 2068–2083.
  7. J Clin Invest. 1996 Jul 1; 98(1): 185–191.
  8. Altern Med Rev. 2001;6(2):126-140
  9. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:6473678.
  10. Arch Dermatol. 1998;134(11):1356-1360
  11. WebMD. Spider and Varicose Veins.

Healthy and Natural World