Skin Redness

Increased facial redness can be a significant cosmetic concern for many people. The unwanted redness is the result of increased numbers of blood vessels in the superficial layers of the skin. The redness can range from a generalised pinkness or redness because of increased blood flow into tiny microscopic blood vessels, to discrete prominent blood vessels that can appear as red lines on the skins surface. Specialised vascular lasers such as the EXCEL V, DIODE and V-BEAM and light sources such as the BBL are very effective in treating unwanted facial redness.

The commonest vascular conditions that we treat are…


Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that typically involves the central face area and is most common in 30-60 year olds with fair skin. It can be associated with adult acne (Acne Rosacea) and there are often aggravating factors that cause exacerbations. Treatment of the redness can respond well to vascular laser treatment. Maintenance treatments are usually required and prescription medications may also be needed. Learn more about Rosacea on this page

Broken Capillaries

Blood vessels that appear as fine red lines are commonly called broken capillaries (and medically we call them Telangiectasia). The vessels are not actually ‘broken’ but simply we see the blood vessels as they loop up to the skin’s surface then back down into the deeper skin layers. Vascular lasers are very effective in tracing and removing these unsightly red capillaries. Read more here on our broken capillaries page.

Facial Spider Veins

Spider Veins are larger blue or even purple coloured blood vessels that on the face typically occur around the nose. Spider Veins are also very common on the legs and get their name from the spider web like pattern that these vessels can form. Whilst injections (called Sclerotherapy) is the usual treatment of choice for leg spider veins, long wavelength lasers such as the NdYAG are often used to treat facial spider veins.

To find out more about Facial Spider Veins visit this page

Spider Angioma

A Spider Angioma is a cluster of small red blood vessels, usually on the face. They are also called Spider Naevi and typically start off as flat red marks that over time become raised and then resemble a large pimple. When these lesions are flat they usually respond very quickly to a single laser treatment but when raised several laser treatments may be required to completely shut down the feeder blood vessel.

To find out more about Spider Angioma visit this page

Generalised Redness

Many patients are troubled by increasing skin redness on the face, neck and chest as they get older. This occurs from the cumulative effects of years of sun damage, particularly when younger. Generalised redness can occur in combination with Broken Capillaries and other features of sun damage such as uneven pigmentation, skin thickening and precancers ( Solar Keratosis). Laser and BBL treatment can significantly improve these issues.

To find out more about Sun Damaged Skin visit this page


Vascular birthmarks, and in particular Port Wine Stains, were one of the first conditions that we used medical lasers to treat in our clinic more than 20 years ago. Remarkable results can be achieved but a series of treatments are required that take many months. We treat fewer of these birthmarks than we did in the past as most are now treated at a very early age at the Royal Childrens Hospital.

To find out more about Birthmarks visit this page

What causes Facial Redness?


A tendency to facial redness often runs in families. There especially seems to be a genetic predisposition with people of Celtic background.

Environmental Damage

Anything that inflames your skin can accelerate the development of facial capillaries. In Australia this is largely sun but can also be caused by inflammation from excessive wind or cold.


This is a common skin condition that usually affects the face and typically flares up intermittently. It may be associated with acne in which case it is termed acne rosacea.


Certain medications such as oral prednisolone or prolonged use of topical hydrocortisone creams can contribute to the formation of facial capillaries.


Facial capillaries especially around the sides of the nose can be exacerbated by congestion from such conditions as sinusitis, hayfever and rhinitis.


Facial redness is a very common problem in men as they are more likely to work outdoors, spend long hours in the car and participate in outdoor sports. Many men find that not only is facial redness unsightly but it can alsoworsen significantly with activity. Facial redness can also cause the skin to feel tender andbe associated with a flushing ora heat sensation. When the redness involves the nose men often worry that people think that they are heavy drinkers because of the redness. Generalised redness can alsomake a man appear as looking embarrassed in social or work situations when they are not.


In men the main reason that redness on the face occurs is due to broken capillaries that develop from a combination of genetic factors and environmental factors. Genetic factorsdetermine your skin type and men with Celtic type skin seem much more susceptible to developing facial capillaries and facial redness.Environmental factors that contribute to causing facial redness in men are basically the things that inflame and irritate your skin which in Australia are sun, wind and cold.

There are many other aggravating factors that can make facial redness look worse once you have it, and these are the things that heat up your body such as hot showers, saunas, exercise, alcohol, hot and spicy food. Essentially anything that raises your body temperature will result in more blood flow to the skins surface to dissipate the heat, andif there are additional facial blood vessels then these will open up and become more prominent.

Some men suffer from a skin condition called Rosacea which seems to be an immune based problem that can result in significant facial redness. Rosacea can be associated with adult acne lesions and in some patients it can also affect the eyes.


Laser and broadband light devices are both used to treat facial redness in men. At the Cosmetic and Laser Medical Centre we have several options and choice of the most appropriate method depends on the type of problem causing the redness, severity of the condition and consideration of downtime. The main vascular lasers we use are the EXCEL V (532/1064) and DIODE (532/940) and the main broadband light device we use is the BBL.

However facial redness is treated it is important to slow the rate of more damage by daily use of an appropriate sunblock even for men who work indoors. Other topical medications mayalso need to be prescribed especially with chronic conditions such as Rosacea.


The number of treatments depends on the severity of the facial redness. Typically it can take 2-3 treatments to get the facial redness under control and then it is not unusual for maintenance treatments to be needed in the future such as once a year.

Veins around the nose have a high chance of recurrence especially if there is a tendency to any conditions that cause congestion in the area such as sinus conditions, allergies or hay fever.


A typical vascular laser treatment costs $350. The usual cost for a BBL treatment is $300.


There is usually increased redness immediately after the treatment due to a heat effect. This is minimised by the immediate use of a cold pack after treatment. There can be some swelling in the first 48 hours again due to a heat effect and we do recommend sleeping with an extra pillow for the first 2 nights after vascular laser treatment.

Most men find the reaction is similar to a mild sunburn and if there is going to be much reaction that this occurs in the first 48 hours. We do advise caution with sun exposure on the treated area until any reaction has settled.Small crusts similar to a cat scratch can occur and it is important that these are not picked or traumatised as they represent healing skin and usually fall off over a week. We recommend using something soothing on the skin such as Centella, Aloe Vera or Vitamin E gently applied each day.

Frequently Asked Questions


What aggravates facial redness?

If you have a tendency to facial redness then anything that raises your body temperature will accentuate the condition as the body dissipates heat by sending more blood flow to the skins surface. Common things that raise your body temperature are exercise, alcohol, hot spicy foods, saunas and hot showers.

How can facial redness be treated?

The first principal of treatment is to avoid causative factors especially factors that inflame your skin such as excess sun, wind and cold. In this regard a good quality sun care product is essential.The second principal of treatment is to avoid aggravating factors such as alcohol, hot spicy foods, saunas etc.The third principal of treatment is to treat and remove the facial redness, The best treatment option is to use a vascular laser. The choice of which vascular laser is the most appropriate will depend on the severity and cause of facial redness.

What type of laser is used in the treatment?

We have a number of vascular lasers including the V Beam, Diode and ExcelV lasers. The choice of which laser is most appropriate will depend on your particular problem and skin type.

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