Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"How can you treat dilated capilaries in a child? "
My son is seven years old and has a really unsightly red spot on his upper cheek that our doctor diagnosed as dilated capilaries. He doesn't seem self-conscious yet but I know he will be later. Are there good treatments for kids his age?
What you seem to be describing is spider veins or some other common variation of blood vessels that grow close to the skin and can be unsightly. There are many options for treatment, but it would be important to discuss these with your pediatrician as well as the physician who would be doing the procedure. Cosmetic surgery or procedures are a very sensitive topic in young children, and should be considered carefully, especially if the spot is not bothering him. It is difficult to say without seeing the lesion directly, but there are occasions when these spots will become less noticeable over time. When the time comes to address the spot, some common therapies involve injecting the blood vessels with either salt water or foam (sclerosing agents). Either of these cause an inflammatory reaction that usually will cause the vessels to clot off, thus fixing the problem. There are some common mild side effects, such as discoloration of the surrounding skin, that will be discussed with your prior to the procedure. These will usually resolve by themselves with time, but will sometimes require further treatments. There are other surgical options as well, but for small spots such as you are describing, sclerosing is a great place to start. Again, many physicians will recommend waiting until children are older to address these issues, and so you will need to have open discussions with your surgeon or physician prior to initiating any sort of treatment.
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