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I have a small cluster of broken capillaries on my neck near my clavicle. It's been there for years and every so often I get asked where I got my hicky. What could be the cause of this? I am assuming aging and heredity are the causes.

By Anonymous May 1, 2010 - 12:18pm
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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post and welcome!

I tend to agree that age and hereditary may have something to do with this too. They are often caused by sun and wind damage, puberty or menopause (due to hormone fluctuations) and of course, a family history. Laser surgery can help remove these broken lines.

But you may have Rosacea.
From our Encyclopedia : Rosacea is a skin disorder that causes chronic redness of the face. It can also cause swelling, tiny pimples, and the appearance of broken blood vessels. Rosacea usually affects the cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose, but the ears, chest, and back may also be affected. More than half of people with rosacea also have mild eye symptoms, including redness, burning, and watering—the so-called "ocular rosacea."
Rosacea generally can't be cured. It can be controlled. There are several ways to manage rosacea. Your doctor may recommend more than one, depending on your condition.

Prescription medications for rosacea include:

Antibiotics applied to the skin
Other topical treatments such as azelaic acid , sulfa, or tretinoin (Retin-A)
Antibiotics taken by mouth

In more severe cases, medications may sometimes include:

Oral isotretinoin (Accutane)
In very rare more severe recalcitrant cases, oral methotrexate , dapsone , primaquine, chloroquine, or prednisone

*Topical cortisone is generally avoided on the face. It can make rosacea worse in the long run. It can be effective as very short-term treatment.

Treatment for redness or flushing may include:

Clonidine in low doses
Beta blockers (certain types)

The following procedures minimize redness, enlarged blood vessels, and an enlarged nose:

Electrosurgery—uses a tiny electric needle
Laser surgery—uses a laser

Preventing rosacea can be difficult. If you have rosacea, there are several steps you can take to control the condition:

Avoid things that may trigger flushing or blushing. This includes certain foods, alcohol, and exposure to the sun.
Protect your skin from the sun. Use clothing, hats, or sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
Exercise in a cool environment to avoid overheating.
Avoid anything that irritates your skin:
Apply topical medications, moisturizers, and cosmetics very gently
Use cleansers, moisturizers, cosmetics, and other toiletries that are gentle and alcohol-free

Read more on our Rosecea page here: http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/rosacea#definition

Anon - a trip to your dermatologist will be needed to find out what exactly these broken lines are. It's likely to be regular old broken capillaries but I wanted to put Rosacea out there as another possibility. Your dermatologist can talk with you about treatment options.

And when asked if the marks are a hickey, just smile and look mysterious :)

Let me know what you think about this information!

May 1, 2010 - 1:47pm
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