Question
I have red patchy marks on both cheeks. On closer inspection they appear to be tiny thread veins. Why is this happening?
Answer
The thread veins you refer to are also known as telangiectasiae or spider veins. They occur in both men and women and can be considered to be part of the normal ageing process. They may also occur as a result of pregnancy or even hormone treatments such as the contraceptive pill or HRT. Telangiectasiae may also occur as a result of the skin condition called acne rosacea. Steroid treatment can also cause them. In the past there was little that could be done for them other than masking them with makeup. Nowadays it is possible to treat them very successfully with laser treatment. The treatment plan depends on the number, size and depth of the thread veins and most people require up to three sessions of treatment. The treatment sessions are spaced 6 to 12 weeks apart and can be performed as an outpatient treatment. Most people do not require anaesthesia for the procedure. The principal reasons for treating telangiectasiae are aesthetic since the veins are not of great medical significance and do not represent a possible threat to health.

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