Ever wonder what those tiny red threads around your nose or cheeks are? They are broken capillaries. A capillary is the smallest type of blood vessel in the body. Broken Capillaries are enlarged blood vessels that have widened due to a weakness in the vein wall or because of a faulty valve (see Diagram A). Furthermore, the walls of the vessels can leak, turning the skin visibly red. Broken capillaries on your face can be unattractive and are difficult to conceal. There are many reasons why we get them.
Primary causes of broken capillaries:
• increasing age
• hormonal fluctuations (puberty, pregnancy, menopause)
• pregnancy (increase in the amount of blood in the body, causing vein enlargement)
• leg injury – including prolonged standing
• fluctuations in temperature
• UVA sun damage
• Spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol can exacerbate the look of broken capillaries since they can typically increase blood circulation in the face
In the past, there have been many skin products touted to improve these unsightly blood vessels. Some have improved the redness but they have never made the blood vessel disappear. At Rejuvé, we find the IPL (Intense Pulse Light) to be the most effective treatment. For the first time, these blood vessels can disappear. The IPL targets the red pigments found in the hemoglobulin, which is the molecule that carries oxygen found in all red blood cells. These red pigments absorb the light energy much more intensely then the surrounding skin whereby converting the light energy into heat. This heat shrinks the blood vessels until they disappear. (See Diagram B) Normally, 2-6 IPL treatments are required every 2 weeks. Each treatment takes 20-30 minutes. With the IPL, there is minimal to no discomfort and there is no dowtime.
After your treatments, we do recommend a daily skin regimen as an adjunctive therapy to improve the skin’s elasticity and to prevent further broken capillaries. At Rejuvé, we offer the latest and most advanced skin care products. We recommend in the morning, applying a topical vitamin C serum or cream combined with a true broad spectrum sunscreen, and at night, using of a topical retinoid. We will provide specific and proper instructions on all of these products since adverse reactions can occur when used incorrectly. It is important to start as early as possible to prevent and minimize any further unwanted red developments.
*The above pictures are actual patients but the individual results will vary and these results may not occur in all patients.
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