Help me be less ugly
January 28, 2012 9:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm 25. I recently noticed that I'm starting to get ugly little red veins on my nose....

I really don't want these veins to become more noticeable as I get older, although maybe that's inevitable. Is there anything I can do to stop them getting worse? If it's relevant, my facial skin care routine is as follows: washing face with soap once daily; exfoliating 3-4 times a week; moisturizing once daily. I'm fair skinned and I don't wear make up. I use sunscreen pretty much only in the summertime because otherwise I'm not outdoors much. Thanks all.
posted by Lobster Garden to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Gin Blossoms possibly?
posted by holdkris99 at 10:12 PM on January 28, 2012

They're broken capillaries; I have them too. You get them from sunburn, extreme hot and cold, excessive exfoliation, booze, pressure (e.g. zit squeezing) and age. Oh, and most importantly, genetics—everyone on my mother's side has them. Once you've got them, I don't think there's much you can do about them—I hear people suggest laser therapy occasionally, but I'm yet to meet someone who's had it done. In terms of prevention, you could perhaps cut back on the exfoliation—though to be honest that didn't make much difference for me.
posted by hot soup girl at 10:15 PM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seen a dermatologist? This might be rosacea, which I have (thanks, Norse ancestry).... I get those burst blood vessels on my face as well. Some people respond well to topical medications/anti-inflammatories. I have to rely on makeup to cover it up.
posted by wowbobwow at 10:59 PM on January 28, 2012

A lot of it's genetics and aging. Having pale skin will highlight them more but I think tanning would make it worse. Makeup will hide it - I have heard some people who have success with laser but it's costly and painful.
posted by mleigh at 12:24 AM on January 29, 2012

I suspect Rosacea too. The red veins can be removed fairly easily by a dermatologist, but your regimen is too much if you suffer from Rosacea, since treating the skin with extreme gentleness is important. I have been using Rodan and Fields Soothe, recommended to me by my pharmacist daughter, and the redness and inflammation has gone way down.
Consult your doctor first, but there are regimens suggested by the National Rosacea Organization that help.
posted by francesca too at 3:51 AM on January 29, 2012

If it's just spider veins and not Rosacea, you don't have to resort to wearing make-up to minimize their appearance. Estee Lauder has moisturizers that do a great job of evening out skintone. They cover my usually-visible broken capillaries so well I can barely see them in the magnifying mirror. I'm sure other brands (like maybe Clinique?) have similar products.
posted by DrGail at 4:49 AM on January 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Exfoliating 3-4 times/week seems excessive. Sunscreen year-round is always a good idea, especially on your face.
posted by lulu68 at 6:43 AM on January 29, 2012

I used to work in laser dermatology clinic way back in the early-to-mid 90s and the doctors there treated these quite regularly (the medical term is telangiectasias - can't believe I still remember that after all these years!). They used a pulsed dye laser, although as this was so long ago, there may be different/even better options available now. Compared to laser treatments for other conditions, the price was fairly reasonable since it usually involves such a small area and may only need one treatment. Far as I know, that is the only treatment that will get rid of them.

Definitely see a dermatologist either way as they can be related to rosacea, but as others have mentioned it can also just be due to sun damage or other causes.
posted by kaybdc at 10:11 AM on January 29, 2012

Popping back in to address the pain issue that someone mentioned upthread. Most doctors describe the sensation as similar to having a rubber band snapped against your skin; not pleasant, but for most people bearable. It will depend a lot on your own personal tolerance for pain. In the clinic where I worked we had a 4 year old girl getting treated for a birthmark involving her eye lid - a very sensitive area - who never flinched and on the other end of the spectrum we had a strapping teen age boy also being treated for a birthmark on a much less sensitive area of his face, who didn't tolerate the laser very well. There is a numbing cream that can be applied beforehand that will help, if not totally block the sensation.

Also the areas treated will look worse before they look better. They go from bright red dots to blue in a period of days before fading. If the protocol is still the same, you can't wear make up for at least 24 hours following the procedure, but you may be able to wear something like a mineral based powder afterwards.
posted by kaybdc at 10:27 AM on January 29, 2012

One of my favorite bloggers had red veins on her nose (personally, I find them barely noticeable in the before pics).

She had them treated with lasers, and took before, during, and after pictures.

I think it's worth looking at if you are considering laser treatment - the during picture has a big discoloration, you'd definitely have to plan the treatment for a time when you wouldn't mind that too much.
posted by insectosaurus at 8:23 AM on February 5, 2012

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