Why Are There Spider Veins Under The Eyes?

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Although spider veins are harmless, their appearance on different parts of the face – particularly under the eyes – is a huge cosmetic concern for most people. Luckily, it’s possible to minimize the appearance of these pesky spider veins if you’re aware of what caused them in the first place.

So why are there spider veins under the eyes?  Some of the risk factors for the development of these visible veins under the eyes are genes, sun damage, pregnancy, alcohol consumption, injuries, rosacea, and environmental and chemical irritants. Spider veins are common and they develop in different parts of the body, including some parts of the face.

7 Common Causes of Prominent Periorbital Veins

Periorbital veins are responsible for bringing blood to the blood vessels in the eyes. They’re not usually visible under the skin, but the area beneath the eyes (known as the “tear trough”) is delicate and thin. This makes it a primary spot for dark circles, eye bags, and prominent veins.

According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, about 40% of adult women experience different venous conditions like spider veins, varicose veins, and reticular veins. The incidence increases up to about 80% as people get older, but there are also other risk factors to consider like:


The appearance of spider veins tends to run in the family. People with close relatives who have spider veins or prominent periorbital veins are more likely to develop these visible veins on their skin in the future. Their risk of having facial spider veins also increases as they get older.

Sun Damage and Hot Weather

Prolonged sun exposure without wearing sunglasses and sunscreen cause the facial veins to become more prominent. If a person gets a sunburn, their skin may peel and make the blood vessels on their skin more visible. Hot weather also increases the dilation of the blood vessels, making some of them burst.


Increased estrogen during a woman’s pregnancy causes some of the blood vessels to break. Pregnancy-related spider veins usually heal on their own, but patients may also consult a dermatologist or vein specialist for possible spider treatment options. Skin discoloration is also common among pregnant women.

Learn more: Do Spider Veins Go Away After Pregnancy?

Alcohol Consumption

Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption usually causes the skin to flush. People’s cheeks turn red when drinking because the blood vessels on their faces enlarge. Frequent binge drinking usually leads to the appearance of unsightly veins under the eyes, on the cheeks, and other parts of the face.

Injuries and Extreme Pressure

Even minor injuries on the face may lead to bruising. When this happens, broken blood vessels may also become more noticeable. Vomiting and sneezing exert sudden pressure on the face, which also results in broken blood vessels around the nose, cheeks, and under the eyes.


This common medical condition causes flushing and excessive redness because of enlarged veins. Patients with rosacea also often have visible spider veins on their faces.

Environmental and Chemical Irritants

Some environmental pollutants and certain chemicals are harmful to the skin. This causes the blood vessels on the face to become more noticeable.

5 Possible Treatments for Spider Veins Under Eyes

Since clusters of spider veins are mostly harmless, treating them is more of a cosmetic issue than a medical necessity. There are many spider vein removal options available, but not all of them work for everyone. A patient might need to try several spider vein treatments before finding the best one for them.

Here are some of the most common treatments for the visible spider veins and periorbital veins under the eyes:


Makeup is one of the easiest ways to treat different skin issues on the face, including under-eye spider veins and dark circles. Concealers and foundations cover up the veins well without worrying about side effects or recovery. However, patients need to reapply makeup at least once a day since it washes or fades off eventually.

When using makeup for concealing the spider veins, make sure to check the ingredients list so that everything is safe to use under and around the eyes. The cost of makeup also adds up, which is why most patients choose other cost-effective treatments instead.

Retinoid Creams

Skincare products and topical creams that contain retinoids help reduce the appearance of spider veins, as well as other skin conditions. It works by boosting the body’s collagen production and repairing new skin cells. A topical cream that contains retinoids also exfoliates the damaged outer layer of the skin, allowing clearer and brighter skin to show.

However, retinoid creams take months of regular application to work. They’re not used as a permanent treatment for spider veins, which is why it’s better to consult a medical professional first about other spider vein removal treatments that target the problem at its root. Patients may also experience skin irritation and redness for the first few applications, but the skin eventually returns to its normal, healthier state.

Natural Home Remedies

Most patients try to use home remedies to prevent or reduce the appearance of spider veins on their face first before consulting medical professionals about other possible treatments. These remedies are usually safe, but it’s better to try to do a skin patch test first before applying the solution to the face.

Here are some of the best natural home remedies for spider veins: 

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – This pantry staple is useful for different facial skin issues, including spider veins. It also reduces the redness caused by broken capillaries. Apple cider vinegar is usually used as an astringent or daily toner.
  • Horse Chestnut – This useful herb helps treat different skin conditions and improve vein health. Topical forms of horse chestnut are the most effective variants for treating spider veins. Just make sure to see the ingredients list to check if the product is made from the bark only before applying it to the face.
  • Warm Water – Taking hot water showers results in broken blood vessels, which is why it’s better to wash the face with warm or cold water instead.


Sclerotherapy is one of the most common treatments for different venous conditions like spider veins, varicose veins, and reticular veins. It involves injecting a sclerosing agent directly into the affected vein until it disappears after a few weeks.

The sclerosing agent seals the blood vessels, forcing the blood flow to reroute to other healthy vessels instead. Without blood flowing through these affected vessels, they slowly disappear from the skin. Patients may experience pain during the treatment, but common side effects usually go away after a few days.

Laser and IPL Therapy

Laser treatments also help eliminate the spider veins under the eyes. The laser light from the device damages the problematic veins. Although it’s highly effective in treating periorbital veins, laser therapy often results in increased skin sensitivity after the treatment. Patients should follow the doctor’s instructions well to avoid possible complications of the treatment.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Therapy works in the same way as laser treatment – the device emits special light that penetrates deep into the layers of the skin to close the affected veins. This treatment produces less damage to the skin and less recovery time, but patients need multiple treatment sessions to achieve the best results.

Find the Most Effective Under-Eye Vein Treatments at Vein Center Doctor

Although most under-eye vein treatments are safe, it’s still important to find a trusted doctor to perform the procedure. Vein Center Doctor offers effective treatments for spider vein patients near Ardsley, NY and Clifton, NJ to help them achieve clearer, healthier, and vein-free skin.

Find out if you’re a good candidate for our periorbital vein removal treatments today by booking a consultation. Call us today to request an appointment.