Telangiectasias are small blood vessels just below the surface of the skin. The blood vessels are very visible through the skin. They may appear as a single vessel or as many vessels in clusters.
They may also be seen in the mouth or whites of the eyes. The may also be in other locations, such as the brain and the back of the eyes.
Telangiectasias are caused by small blood vessels that are stuck in a wide open position. There is no clear reason for why this happens in many cases.
Some telangiectasias are due to conditions like:
- Chronic sun and/or cold exposure
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia
- Injury from surgery or radiation
- Too much estrogen—can be caused by oral contraceptives or pregnancy
Factors that increase your risk for telangiectasias are based on the underlying condition.
Telangiectasias may cause:
- Red patches of skin that have a lacy pattern
- Patches of red skin that turn white when pressure is applied, then red again after pressure is removed
- They can occasionally bleed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Depending on the cause of the lesion, your doctor may take a biopsy of the area. You may be referred to a skin specialist.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Often, treatment is not needed for the telangiectasias itself. Treatment depends on what is causing the telangiectasias.
Make-up can be used to cover the red patches. Depending on the type and location of telangiectasia, laser therapy or chemicals may be used to destroy the vessels.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014 -
- Update Date: 05/22/2014 -