Otherwise known as telangiectasia, these are tiny, superficial red, blue or purplish blood vessels often caused by sun exposure, wind, extreme temperatures, steroids, hormonal changes and radiotherapy. They range from tiny threads to larger blue/purple veins. If left untreated, vessels may enlarge and become increasingly unsightly. The veins can appear in clusters, called spider naevi, or small red dots (haemangiomas). The commonest affected areas are the nose, cheeks, chin and legs.