Broken blood vessels can be attributed to a number of causes, most commonly injury, according to Healthline. Physical strain such as that induced by crying, coughing or vomiting may also contribute to broken blood vessels, as described by Mayo Clinic.
Bleeding under the skin can manifest as small dots called petechiae or larger areas called purpura. These spots are differentiated from other skin conditions by pressing on the spots. Unaffected skin turns pale and then returns to its normal color, Healthline reports, while bleeding beneath the skin does not change color.
Broken blood vessels are often a minor occurrence, though unexplained bleeding or bleeding not caused by an injury should be evaluated by a physician, as this can be a sign of a serious medical condition. Less frequent causes of bleeding into the skin include allergic reactions, infectious disease, leukemia or side effects from medication, chemotherapy or radiation. A patient experiencing pain in the area of the bleeding, bleeding through the skin, skin darkening in the affected area or swelling around the affected area should seek immediate medical care.
Once the cause of a broken blood vessel is identified, a physician can recommend treatment, including medication. In the event that the bleeding is caused by medication, a physician may discontinue its use or prescribe a different medication.