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Video Overview
T's in Scleroderma
Cosmetic Warnings

Corrective Cosmetics
Patient Stories: Telangiectasia

What are Telangiectasias?

Telangiectasia and Scleroderma Video
Presented by Amanda Thorpe

Telangiectasia are dilated superficial blood vessels. They may occur in rosacea, in certain systemic diseases (ataxia-telangiectasia, scleroderma), or in long-term therapy with topical fluorinated corticosteroids; most cases are idiopathic (of unknown cause). Telangiectasia may also occur as a component of inherited disorders, including ataxia-telangiectasia and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. The Merck Manual.

Photo 1: Telangiectasia on hand (circled) from ISN Photo Repository.

photo-telangiectasias-on-face Photo 2: The dilation of small vessels and capillaries can cause flat red marks to appear anywhere on the body, but primarily on the neck, nose, cheeks, and chin, and sometimes on the tongue.

Mirriam-Webster Online Dictionary: Telangiectasia(2)

Mirriam-Webster Online Dictionary: Telangiectasia
Syllables: tel-an-gi-ec-ta-sia
Pronounced something like this: te-lan-jee-ek-taa-zsha

audioAudio pronunciation for "telangiectasia" from

Singular: telangiectasia
Plural: telangiectasias or audiotelangiectases.

Adverb: telangiectatic
Meaning: An abnormal dilatation of capillary vessels and arterioles that often forms an angioma.

Angioma: A tumor composed chiefly of blood vessels or lymph vessels.

Common Misspellings: telanjectasia, telanjectasha, telangectasia, telangectasha.

Photo of Telangiectasias

See Scleroderma Photos. ISN.

Telangiectasias in Scleroderma

The relationship between nailfold capillaroscopic assessment and telangiectasia score with severity of peripheral vascular involvement in systemic sclerosis. Digital ulcer history and severe PVI in SSc were associated with capillary loss and microangiopathy. PubMed, Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 03/23/2015. (Also see Nailfold Videocapillaroscopy and Vascular Involvement)

Telangiectases in scleroderma: a potential clinical marker of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Increased numbers of telangiectases strongly associate with the presence of pulmonary vascular disease. Telangiectases may be a clinical marker of more widespread aberrant microvascular disease in scleroderma. J Rheumatol, 2010 Jan;37(1):98-104. (Also see Vascular Disease and PAH)


Photo of telangiectasia on palm of handScleroderma can cause telangiectasia on the face and/or hands, and the presence of telangiectasia on the face and/or hands counts as one of the criteria for diagnosing CREST Syndrome For a diagnosis of CREST, which represents either Limited or Diffuse systemic sclerosis, the patient must have two or more of the following: CalcinosisRaynaud'sEsophagus ProblemsSclerodactyly (tight skin on fingers or toes) — Telangiectasia.

Telangiectasia frequently appear on the trunk and extremities of healthy people and so although you may have them there also, those telangiectasia do not count towards a CREST diagnosis.

Sometimes you can clearly see that these are little spider veins; in other cases the spider veins are "bunched up" and appear to be a rash or blemish at first glance. However, if you pull the skin apart there, you will see that it is actually a spider vein, or a dilated blood vessel, and so it is actually a Telangiectasia (rather than a rash or pimple.)

Generalized Essential Telangiectasia. Essential or primary telangiectasia refers to capillary dilation of unknown origin. No preceding or coexisting skin or internal disease is present. Generalised essential telangiectasia (GET) is just one type of primary telangiectasia and is given this name because of its widespread distribution pattern over the body. Other primary telangiectases include angioma serpiginosum, ataxia telangiectasia, angiomas and spider naevi. DermNet NZ.


Telangiectasias can be covered with makeup or a dermatologist can remove it with sclerotherapy, laser, or PhotoDerm.

However, "Second Generation" Telangiectasia (ones that return after the first treatment) are often resistant to treatments, so we highly recommend that you (and your dermatologist) read about that situation before starting any course of treatment for telangiectasia.

A comparison of intense pulsed light and laser treatment of telangiectases in patients with systemic sclerosis: a within-subject randomized trial. Both pulsed dye laser (PDL) and intense pulsed light (IPL) are effective treatments for SSc-related telangiectases. PDL has better outcomes in terms of appearance, although IPL had fewer side effects. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford), 2014 Mar 28.

Cosmetic Warnings

Lipstick by Janet Paulmenn, ISN ArtistLipsticks, Perfumes May Be Hazardous to Health. Beware of lipstick-stained lips before puckering up this Valentine's Day. They could be covered in lead. Reuters first reported that a new study conducted by the FDA found that 400 lipsticks on the market tested positive for lead. ABC News, Medical Division. 02/14/12.

Corrective Cosmetics

Telangiectasias can be covered with makeup or a dermatologist can remove it with sclerotherapy, laser, or PhotoDerm.

Mascara by Janet Paulmenn, ISN Artist
Look to Sclero Forums for support!

ISN Sclero Forums is our online support group and we have featured discussions about the treatment and coverage of telangiectasia.

Dermacolor Camouflage by Kryolan makeup is an example of longlasting professional makeup, as used by actors and models. When properly applied, it can provide suitable coverage for skin colorations such as telangiectasia, birth marks, and morphea scleroderma. (Also see Morphea Scleroderma Treatments)

Dermablend ® Corrective Cosmetics is a lighter and less longlasting makeup which may cover telangiectasia and other skin imperfections.

Jane Iredale. Some of our scleroderma and psoriasis site visitors have also reported a more natural look (than Dermablend, which is a thicker foundation) with good coverage plus anti-inflammatory effects from the Jane Iredale line of mineral-based makeup.

Some of the other brands of mineral makeups may also be worth trying, especially non-allergenic product lines.

Patient Stories: Telangiectasia

Alexandra: Scleroderma My scleroderma symptoms arrived in great style: reflux, itchy swollen skin, joint and muscle pain and tiredness. Plus hundreds of little red spots (telangiectasia). My mouth was tight and getting smaller too...

Alina: Scleroderma CREST Syndrome This site is very helpful as I have been reading articles of people with my condition and can relate to what they are going through...

Barbara H: Generalized Essential Telangiectasia About five years ago some specialists at St, Vincents Hospital had a symposium and I was one of the subjects but they did not have anything to assist me. Laser could help but was very expensive...

Carol C: CREST Syndrome Scleroderma and Raynaud's have not robbed me of a fulfilling career...

Chloe S: Telangiectasia It is kind of like little red broken-up birthmarks all over my body...

Craig R: CREST Scleroderma I had my first scleroderma symptoms at age twenty-two, which included severe Raynaud's with some ulceration and tissue loss...

Debby: CREST Scleroderma It was then everything added up— that I did not have several different conditions, but rather they were all part of the CREST...

Dienne: Morphea plus possible CREST I finally saw a rheumatologist about six years ago, who told me I had Raynaud's and Telangiectasia (spider veins)...

D.M. Hoffe: Progressive Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma CREST) After an endoscopy it was discovered I had a Watermelon Stomach...

Erica R: Raynaud's Syndrome & Telangiectasia I noticed that in the middle of class my hands would go numb. I had to run out to my truck to turn on the heat...

Helen P: CREST Scleroderma I was diagnosed ten years ago when the symptoms kicked in with a vengeance following a very traumatic personal tragedy...

Iceback: CREST or Limited Scleroderma Never having heard of scleroderma, I never really asked any questions when he told me and went home to look it up on the Internet...

Jacquie: Diffuse Scleroderma I am fifty-six years old and I was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma in November of 2003, right when menopause hit...

Joy W: CREST Scleroderma Two months after my fortieth birthday, I was diagnosed with CREST scleroderma with Raynaud's...

Kathi: Scleroderma/Lupus I am forty-three years old and have not been feeling well for ten years...

Lois: Fibromyalgia with Possible CREST When I read Carla's story it almost sounded like mine! When I was in tenth grade, Raynaud's started and a horrible kind of rash...

Marthie D: CREST Scleroderma I live in a small town, which developed around a chemical and petrochemical industry in this area in South Africa...

Melissa: CREST Plus I would love to hear from anyone who knows about CREST...

Melissa H: Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) I have big red marks on me which I get teased about, but not as much as I used to...

Merrie: Mother of Daughter with Raynaud's and Fibromyalgia? They said it might mean something or not and referred her to a rheumatologist, but he just blew it off as nothing...

Olga: Difficult Diagnosis Recently I came across while researching my illness that has not been recognized neither in my native country nor in Italy, where I moved twelve years ago to escape from cold winters which have destroyed my skin...

Paolina F: Essential Telangiectasia It initially started on my feet and has progressed to most of my legs, arms, and I have some spots on my torso...

Peggy: CREST and Raynaud's Years later, at fifty-six, my family doc said he thought I had scleroderma because I was having trouble with my hands, and my fingers looked like sausages...

Rosie: Limited Systemic Sclerosis (Australia) Some of my symptoms may not be due to limited scleroderma, however most of these symptoms have appeared since my diagnosis...

Sam H: Telangiectasia I have had telangiectasias since I was two years old. I am now fourteen...

Sharon: CREST with Limited Scleroderma, Sjögren's and Pulmonary Hypertension (Australia) Day by day I discover another food I cannot eat...

Sheila: CREST with Limited Scleroderma I felt really scared, confused, and dehumanized in the process of my diagnosis...

Yvonne Frasure: CREST and Fibromyalgia I no longer go to the doctor because I simply cannot afford it. I cannot get insurance so everything is out of pocket...


(1) Dermatologic Disorders: Diagnosis of Skin Diseases - Telangiectasia. The Merck Manual.

(2) Telangiectasia definition: Derived from Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.

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