Those warm rosy Dutch cheeks. Nice, until you get them yourself. It starts with a small burst vessel and before you know it, both cheeks are full of broken capillaries. And if you are really unlucky, you get a red nose too. When you look in the mirror you immediately see the image of your mother, as she, too, suffered from them. Camouflaging becomes more and more difficult and the green creams have only a moderately effective. But how do the capillaries actually appear and what can be done about them?
The facts at a glance
- The chance of developing broken capillaries is greater if your parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters also suffer from them.
- The broken capillaries have no function. They are just unsightly.
- Broken capillaries do not arise through drinking alcohol! It is important to realise this as people with a “drinker’s nose” are all too often wrongly labelled as alcoholics. However the vessels do become temporarily more visible due to the increased blood flow.
What (doesn’t) work
- There are no effective creams for existing broken capillaries (really). Don’t waste your money here. At the most, soothing and anti- inflammatory ingredients can help to reduce the redness. An irritated skin becomes even more red. Good ingredients are Niacinamide, Boswellia, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Liquorice Root), Allantoin and Panthenol. You are best off avoiding creams which are too rich, choose lighter products.
- You can limit the occurrence of broken capillaries by using a sun cream daily. Sun light especially can aggravate them.
- Changes in temperature can also aggravate them. If you do suffer with this, the sauna is not the best place for you. You should also protect your skin against extreme cold. Take the old farmers, for instance, who have worked outdoors on the land for most of their lives. They are affected by almost everything, the sun, the wind and the freezing cold.
- Mechanical damage to your skin can also cause or make broken capillaries worse. A good example is a wound or an operation on your face, but also intense cosmetic treatment. Even harsh cosmetic products. So treat your face with care!
- Scrubbing is really taboo if you suffer with broken capillaries, but if you want to remove the dead skin cells choose a product with a Salicylic Acid base.
- Broken capillaries are easy to treat. With just one or two laser treatments more than 75% of the blood vessels are often removed. A good laser for this is the 1064 Yag laser, this will not damage your skin. You won’t have to walk around with scabs on your face for days either. IPL treatment is effective for lots of thin and fine blood vessels.
Here is an example of broken capillaries. If you are not sure whether the red patches on your face are broken capillaries, press a glass against your skin. If the redness then goes away, it means that redness is caused by the presence of the capillaries. If you have broken capillaries then the chances are that you suffer from Rosacea. It is wise to treat rosacea to stop it from getting worse.
(Dr. Jetske Ultee- Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)