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How do I Hide Facial Veins?

By Svetlana Arutyunyan
Updated May 21, 2024
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For many people, visible facial veins can be an embarrassing reality they have to live with. Fortunately, there are ways an individual can treat various types of facial veins. One of the common forms of exposed facial veins is called spider veins, which tends to be blue or red in color and can appear anywhere on the face. Usually, individuals who suffer from spider veins see them around the nose area.

Spider veins, which look like tree branches, are caused by broken capillaries that result in dilated blood vessels. Spider veins usually appear on the face and leg area, and are more common among older people because as people age, skin becomes thinner. Some of the causes of facial spider veins are prolonged exposure to the sun, genetics, sensitive skin, and previous acne. They can also be caused by food allergies and harsh cleansers.

Proper skin hygiene, weight loss, and decreasing salt intake can help decrease the appearance of facial veins. But the most common and most effective treatment of spider veins is a procedure called sclerotherapy, which has been in use since the 1930s. During sclerotherapy, an individual’s veins are injected with a saline solution. After three to six weeks, these veins shrink and eventually disappear. The treatment, which takes up to three sessions, may not permanently abolish spider veins. Spider veins may return, but can be retreated.

Another treatment option is called intense pulsed light treatment (IPL), though it is less popular, and may not be suitable for every skin type. The machine used in this procedure releases intense pulses of light on problem areas, which target and destroy the veins. One of the drawbacks of this procedure is that it can get costly and takes up to several treatments to achieve results. Laser treatments, which can also get expensive, use heat energy to damage or destroy a vein. Laser treatments work slowly, but are a less painful solution.

Besides spider veins, another type of exposed facial veins is called varicose veins. Though not as common as spider veins, varicose veins are harder to hide because they bulge out of the surface of the skin. Varicose veins can appear anywhere on the face and vary in size and thickness. These types of visible facial veins are usually caused by exposure to the sun, genetics, aging, steroid use, or facial trauma.

Applying sun block may prevent the exposure of varicose veins, but there are no ways of guaranteeing that these veins will not show up on one’s skin. However, one can seek treatment for exposed facial varicose veins. One of the treatments is electrosurgery, where electric waves are targeted toward the face through a needle and destroy the veins. This is generally a fast treatment, but can be quite painful. Similar to treatment for spider veins, laser surgery is also an option, but works more slowly than electrosurgery, and is not as commonly used.

Neither spider veins nor exposed varicose veins pose much of a health threat to individuals, but for many, the appearance of these facial veins can be embarrassing and hurt self esteem. If an individual who has spider veins does not wish to undergo treatment, simple cosmetic applications, such as concealers, may diminish their appearance. But because varicose veins are elevated from the skin’s surface, treatment may be the best solution for these types of facial veins.

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Discussion Comments

By anon342640 — On Jul 22, 2013

What if they are quite dark and right under the eye like mine? Concealer just doesn't seem to work and treatments seem way too painful. Please help.

By anon331789 — On Apr 25, 2013

I am having a problem with facial veins and have heard many tips for their treatment, but have not been helped yet so your article is very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing this article.

By anon275955 — On Jun 21, 2012

I am a 32-year-old, Caucasian female. I have had three IPL treatments for what appears to be a combination of dilated/broken capillaries and PIH. The third treatment took place two weeks ago. Unfortunately, I have seen no improvement, although that is not to say that it will not work for you. From what I have read on the internet, about 50 percent of patients express satisfaction, while the other half "would never do it again" (pain, burning, scarring - these are normally a result of an inexperienced IPL technician).

I found the treatments to involve little to no pain, although I do have quite a high tolerance for pain in general. The feeling can be compared to someone flicking a rubber band on the area in question from a relatively close distance. My skin was reddish for approximately one hour after the first treatment, for several days after the second treatment (the IPL technician applied more "zaps" that time) and here was virtually no redness following the third treatment. I had no swelling or other side effects. You can return to daily life immediately following the treatment -- just make sure to wear a high SPF sunscreen on the affected area.

Re: sclerotherapy, I am thinking about this option now. However, I am afraid I may not be a candidate due to the very small size and light color of the capillaries. That being said, I would like to emphasize that although I do not disagree with popcorn's comment about these veins being barely noticeable to others, they are quite noticeable and highly irritating to those who suffer from them. My self-esteem has dropped from 100 percent to 0 percent as a result of this experience, and I am currently seeking psychological help for the problem.

I have not found a concealer that would cover up the problem, although I have read that yellow or green hues are supposed to neutralize redness/pinkness (I am going to attempt to try to find one).

Good luck to you, manykitties2. I sympathize with you.

By manykitties2 — On May 28, 2011

Does anyone know if the treatments for getting rid of facial veins are painful? I would consider getting the saline injections, but that sounds like it is going to hurt quite a bit.

Also, is there a lot of aftercare and downtime required after the treatments?

I can imagine that the areas for the injection sites might be swollen and sore afterwards. I am wondering if this is really noticeable or if you can return to daily life right after a treatment.

Also, has anyone ever heard of anyone being allergic to the injections they use? I am a fairly sensitive person with lots of allergies, so I wouldn’t want to get something that would cause me to get sick.

By popcorn — On May 25, 2011

If you have facial veins that are very fine, you can try a good concealer designed for under eye dark circles to cover them.

After you have applied the concealer, you will notice that the place where the vein was now looks paler than the surrounding area. Just use your regular foundation to blend until you have a uniform color. From there, a bit of bronzer will complete your look.

While these veins are very noticeable to you, I find that I have to point them out to others before they realize that they are there. They are also very easy to cover.

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