Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels in the body. The walls of a continuous capillary, the capillary that provides and removes blood-borne nutrients to the skin, are only one cell thick. Their tiny size allows the necessary transfers to take place, but their fragile state is what causes capillaries to break so easily. Under the right circumstances, capillaries can rupture, and if it is near the surface of the skin, the burst can appear as web-like red lines, a condition known as telangiectasia. You should be happy to know that we are experts in treating this condition, which is most commonly seen on the face around the nose, cheeks and chin. There are different treatment options, but the best technique to avoid telangiectasia is to prevent it.

So, what causes the capillaries to break? There are several potential culprits. The main indicator that you may end up with telangiectasia is genetics. If either of your parents had this condition, then you are more susceptible to developing it. But there are a few other possible causes for what causes capillaries to break.

Body Chemistry

Shifts in hormone levels (progesterone and estrogen) that occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause may be what causes capillaries to break.

Skin Trauma

This can take many forms. Washing your face with water that is too hot can be what causes capillaries to break. A blow to the face can damage the capillaries. Too much sun can also damage the tiny vessels. Unsuspected sources like glasses resting on your nose or the use of abrasive facial scrubs or even scrubbing too vigorously can also damage the sensitive veins.


Alcohol causes blood pressure to rise, which may lead capillaries to burst.


As we age, the tissue in the capillaries wears out. This makes it harder for them to expand and contract as they normally would. A capillary that expands and cannot contract means trouble for your complexion. Spider veins then become more common with aging. Their appearance can become more prevalent and more pronounced due to how the skin thins as you grow older.

Treating Telangiectasia

Ultimately, broken capillaries are common and can be difficult to avoid. However, professional treatment with the specialists at The Vein Center is very effective. If you would like a consultation in Mt. Pleasant regarding your telangiectasis, or spider veins, contact us today! We look forward to speaking with you.

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