Question: I have little thin red lines on the left side of my face. I know that you have said it can be a broken blood vessel called spider veins, but since I’ve spent so much time in the sun, I wonder if it could be skin cancer.
Answer: Little red lines are the face are usually small broken or swollen blood vessels. They can be causes by high blood pressure, excess alcohol consumption or too much sun. A blow to the face from a fall or even too aggressive massage can also trigger their appearance. But if you are concerned about skin cancer, I would definately have it evaluated by a dermatologist. In fact, according to New York City dermatologist and skin cancer expert Dr Ellen Marmur, we all should have a complete “skin check” every year. After a summer in the sun, early fall is an excellent time to schedule this important visit to catch problems early. And keep in mind that melanoma, the most serious and potentially fatal form of skin cancer can also be found in areas of the body not exposed to the sun. Melanoma which often does look like a little red bump, can hide between the toes or behind the ear. Caught early all forms of skin cancer are treatable with surgery. Check out the Skin Cancer Foundation for up-to date and accurate information.
Preventing and Treating Spider Veins
If your little red line turns out to be simply a broken blood vessel it can be erased with with IPL or vaporized with an electricl needle. To prevent more from appearing on the skin, limit alcohol to no more than two drinks a week, manage high blood pressure and stay out of the sun. Sunblocks can protect against UV rays, but not the thermal damage from the heat of the sun. Use a light touch on your skin avoiding extremes in hot or cold water, saunas, massage and harsh scrubbing grains. Skin care products with mint, camphor or menthol can also cause blood vessels to expand and provoke more red lines.