What causes thread veins

What causes thread veins on your face?

What causes thread veins?  Those little red marks on your face are often called broken veins, thread veins or sometimes spider naevi.  They are just enlarged blood vessels or broken blood vessels that sit near the surface of the skin.

Here are the common causes of thread veins on your face:

Sun Damage

Prolonged sun exposure can make thread veins worse by making them bigger.  It also draws the veins closer to the surface of the skin, where the redness then becomes more visible.


You may well get thread veins popping up on your face and your body during pregnancy.  This is partly due to increased oestrogen in your body, which leads to broken veins, but also due to the increased pressure on your body in general.  Some women get thread veins on their face after pushing in childbirth.


If you drink excessive alcohol this makes your veins temporarily dilate, which basically means they expand. Alcohol can also use eventually cause the veins to break. So your face can get progressively more red if you continue to drink.

Liver Disease

Many clusters of red veins, is a sign of liver disease. Spider veins can appear when you have a lot of oestrogen in your body, and that is the case with chronic liver disease.  So if you suddenly develop many clusters of veins all at once (for no apparent reason), then it could be a sign that something is wrong with your liver.

Injury or Pressure

If your are hit in the face and get a bruise or you just pick your skin, then this can cause blood vessels to burst. Also a violent cough or sneeze can cause extra pressure in your blood vessels and cause a broken vein too. Once apparent, the redness is unlikely to get worse but won’t necessarily get better by itself.

Extremes of Temperature

The constant change of temperature, from very cold weather to a hot room can make matters worse.  Plus hot spicy foods can also contribute to making thread veins worse.


If all of that isn’t bad enough, some people just get thread veins because they are genetically prone to them. So there’s no escaping them in this case.  I’ve seen clients in their early 20s with very obvious clusters all over their cheeks.

Don’t Panic.. there’s a treatment for thread veins!

Thread veins before and after

A good laser or skin specialist who has the right equipment will be able to treat them.  You should get a good improvement in 1-3 treatments, and in some cases you can get rid of them entirely.  I’d recommend that you go for a consultation first, when you should be given advice on the number of treatments and the cost. To give you an idea, a small cluster of thread veins will cost around £70-£100 per session.  This could vary greatly in different areas of the country though.

Now that you understand what causes them, then you can make changes to your lifestyle to prevent them getting worse.  If you feel you may be suffering from Liver Disease then of course you should see a Doctor immediately.  However the majority of cases are caused by all the other factors I’ve mentioned.

I hope this article has helped you if you suffer from facial thread veins.  If you have any more questions then feel free to email me at: rach@radiantliving.co.uk and I’ll do my best to help.  Or if you’re in my area (North West England) then you can always come and see me for a free consultation.