Laser still the best for Spider Veins on the Face (WSJ)

Written by on December 21, 2010 in research with 1 Comment

An article today in the Wall Street Journal’s Health Aches & Claims section discusses treatments that are available to remove spider veins that can develop on the face. The author quotes Dr. David Goldberg who is well know to rosacea sufferers as a director of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey and a clinical professor of dermatology and director of laser research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

More Treatments Offered for Enlarged Veins in the Face


A growing number of products—including lasers and face creams—are being marketed to tackle the ugly network of spider veins that can develop on the face. Dermatologists say there’s little scientific evidence for the creams, but laser treatments do effectively remove the veins.

Sometimes called telangiectasias, spider veins are enlarged blood vessels near the skin. On the face, they are commonly visible around the nose and on the cheeks. In some people, just a few veins are visible, and in others a large number of them gives a reddish or purple tint to areas of the face.

One major cause is chronic sun exposure, which weakens the collagen of the face, which normally helps contain the blood vessels, says dermatologist Lisa M. Donofrio, an associate clinical professor at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. Also, she adds that some people flush easily—from embarrassment, drinking alcohol and even eating. Repeated blood flow to the face over the years can weaken blood vessels, causing them to enlarge. Inflammation from conditions such as acne or rosacea, can result in increased blood flow to the face and more visible spider veins.


The article mentions a small study of 8 people using a cream from Bremenn Research that is said to contain five plant extracts. The cream is called Bremenn Research Labs Facial Spider Vein Formula with Venilex.

“Venilex is a compound containing a powerful complex of five plant extracts rich in saponosides, flavonoids combined with a specialized yeast extract.”

From the full ingredients listing it appears that the plant extracts are;

  • aculeatus root extract
  • escin
  • centella asiatica extract
  • calendula officinalis flower extract

It is not clear which ingredient is the fifth plant extract. The cost is $79 for a one-ounce tube that the company says will last four to six weeks, on average.

Facial Spider Vein Formula by Bremenn Research Labs
Ingredients: water, cetearyl alcohol, octyldodecanol, glyceryl stearate, mineral oil, butylene glycol, peg-100 stearate, ruscus aculeatus root extract, escin, centella asiatica extract, calendula officinalis flower extract, hydrolyzed yeast protein, ammonium glycyrrhizate, glycerin, ceteareth-20, panthenol, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, caprylyl glycol, hexylene glycol, sodium citrate

Dr. Donofrio says of Facial Spider Vein Formula;

If the creams work, dermatologists say, the effect is temporary. "I have never seen a peer-reviewed, double-blind study that shows that any of these creams work in the long run," says Dr. Donofrio. She says that an eight-person study such as Bremenn’s is not big enough to show effectiveness.

The article goes on to recommend laser treatment as being the best option for facial blood vessel;

Laser treatment, which heats the tiny blood vessels and destroys them, typically results in clearance of 80% to 90% of blood vessels in one to five treatments, depending on the type of laser used and individual characteristics of patients, says David J. Goldberg, author of a review article on laser treatment of facial spider veins published in Dermatologic Surgery earlier this year.

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About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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1 Reader Comment

  1. Irene McDonald says:

    I don’t believe any cream will solve the spider vein problem long term. Once veins have reached such a visible state it is far better to have them treated with IPLL.

    When IPLL is performed by a well trained doctor the results are stunning. My face was like a road map and after 5 treatments it is clear. I dare not say cured as we all know there is no cure but it’s close.

    Without the background redness I no longer flush. Steiva A cream used on any lumps and bumps give the complete control.

    It is like a new life.


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