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Health Information Center


  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:




Telangiectasias are small blood vessels that can be seen just below the surface of the skin. They may appear as a single vessel or a cluster of vessels. Telangiectasias can also appear in the mouth, eyes, and brain.


Small blood vessels become stuck in a wide open position. This makes them easier to see. It is not always clear why this happens. Some people may have related conditions, such as rosacea.

Risk Factors

This is more common in women and people who are at least 40 years of age. The risk of telangiectasia may also be higher in people who have other family members who have it.


A person with telangiectasia may have red lines under the skin that:

  • Can appear in a lacy pattern
  • Can appear anywhere on the body, but are most common on the face, nose, and legs
  • Are often painless
  • May have a burning feeling
  • May bleed


The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to diagnose a telangiectasia.


Treatment is not always needed for telangiectasia. This rarely causes health concerns. However, some people may not like how they look.

Make-up can be used to cover the red patches. The blood vessels may also be destroyed with laser therapy or chemicals.


There are no known methods to prevent this health problem.





  • Generalised essential telangiectasia. DermNet NZ website. Available at: https://dermnetnz.org/topics/generalised-essential-telangiectasia.
  • Idiopathic telangiectasias. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular-disorders/peripheral-venous-disorders/idiopathic-telangiectasias.
  • Laser and light therapy for cutaneous vascular lesions. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/laser-and-light-therapy-for-cutaneous-vasular-lesions.
  • Spider telangiectasias. Boston Children's Hospital website. Available at: https://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions/spider-telangiectasias.


  • James Cornell, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.