By Kara Heer - February 4, 2022
Everyone has seen a vein become more apparent at one time or another, particularly after a strenuous exercise or after having blood drawn at the doctor's office. But what about veins that seem to bulge out continuously, even when you aren't exercising or giving blood? Bulging veins can be caused by many factors, some of which are perfectly normal and others that are more serious. Here's what you should know about veins that stick out before scheduling a free consultation at the Vascular Institute of the Rockies.
While they may not be aesthetically pleasing, bulging veins are relatively common and are often not a sign of a disease or illness. Still, it's important to monitor your bulging veins and seek medical attention as soon as possible if you experience any sudden changes in their appearance, if they are causing discomfort, or they accompany any of the following symptoms:
Ulcers near the veins
Heaviness near the veins
Some common causes of bulging veins include:
Varicose veins: These bulging veins are often found in a person's legs and can appear swollen, twisted, and/or discolored. Varicose veins are usually accompanied by pain, especially after standing for long periods of time. While varicose veins are unsightly and uncomfortable, they are considered to be harmless for most people.
Pregnancy: When a woman is pregnant, the pressure in her veins increases, which makes it harder for blood to be pushed back to her heart. This can lead to blood pooling in her veins, causing them to bulge out.
Age: As a person ages, the muscles in their veins become weaker and can be stretched more easily. As a result, the blood in their veins is more likely to pool and lead to varicose veins.
Weight: While being overweight can make a person more likely to develop varicose veins, thinner people have less fat to hide their veins in. Both of which could lead to an individual having more noticeable veins than someone else.
Exercise: Strenuous activity, such as weightlifting, can increase the pressure in a person's veins, which can cause them to stick out. It can also cause muscle growth, which will invariably push the surrounding veins out.
Other factors that could make a person's veins bulge include genetics, high blood pressure,, smoking, stress, and even the weather (cold weather can make your veins restrict).
Before you can resolve the appearance of your bulging veins, it's important to be examined by a vascular specialist to properly identify the cause. Together, you and your doctor can create a treatment plan that fits your needs and lifestyle, which may include:
Eating a balanced diet
Managing a healthy weight
Wearing compression stockings
Putting your feet up throughout the day
In some cases, the appearance of bulging veins will resolve on its own. For instance, varicose veins caused by pregnancy or undue stress will likely go away after the baby is born or the person's stress is lowered. Still, it is always a good idea to take steps to promote healthy veins even if your bulging veins go away, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.