Broken blood vessels, also called telangiectasias, occur when tiny vessels under the surface of the skin dialate and become visible. They are not really broken, just dilated. Telangiectasias are small, red, purple or blue blood vessels found mainly along the surface of the face (cheeks, nose and chin areas), upper chest and neck. Similar looking veins found on the legs are referred to as spider veins.
Anything that causes the face to flush or blush can produce telangiectasia. Sun-damage, heredity, aging, hot or spicy foods, exercise, stress, hormones, alcohol use, cortisone medications or rare skin diseases are some of the contributing factors. Broken blood vessels can also be caused by direct trauma to the skin.
This condition can affect anyone, and is often very noticeable for people with fair skin. Although they are not painful or harmful, some people often will have them treated for cosmetic reasons.