What are bulging veins? And when they do, should you be concerned? There are a number of reasons why veins swell. It could be due to an underlying medical condition, or it could just be an uncomfortable cosmetic issue.
In any instance, vein disease can only be detected by performing an ultrasound, so it is recommended that you speak with your doctor. Here are some examples of what causes bulging veins:
- Varicose veins
- Hot weather
Bulging veins after exercise
During exercise arterial blood pressure increases. As this pressure rises, sometimes veins will push up against the skin. This process, called filtration, is a normal physiological process that goes away when you stop exercising the muscle. This type of vein bulging is totally normal.
Exercise is one of the most effective measures of preventing vein disease however if you are worried that lifting weights will cause you to develop varicose veins then it is handy to know that unless you are lifting very heavy weight, or performing compound movements such as one-rep exercises, it’s unlikely that damage will occur.
As well as exercise, there are a variety of non-surgical options for the relief of varicose vein symptoms available at The Vein Institute Shop.
Large, prominent veins in the elderly
Age is a large contributor to bulging veins because the aging process can cause veins to weaken and lose their elasticity. At that point, they become enlarged and bulge. Veins can also bulge as the result of trauma, the presence of a skin abscess or boil, or as the result of Phlebitis, an infection caused by inflammation. Although there is no immediate cause for concern, these veins should be checked by a doctor.
Bulging veins due to Phlebitis
Phlebitis, a serious venous inflammation, is caused when the blood vessel walls are damaged. This damage can be caused by injury, trauma or infection to your veins. Unlike varicose veins, which occur in your legs, phlebitis can occur in your arms also. The condition can cause pain and irritation, as it prevents proper circulation. It’s important Phlebitis is treated by a doctor.
Bulging varicose veins in legs
Bulging veins that persist for some time are often the result of a vein condition called Chronic Venous Insufficiency. CVI causes vein valves, which are supposed to keep blood flowing back to the heart, to fail and leak. This allows blood to seep back into the veins and pool there, causing them to swell, and become visible above the skin surface. Bulging veins – even if they have not become discoloured yet – can be an early sign of CVI and an indication that you should visit a vein doctor.
Bulging veins during hot weather
When the weather is hot, our bodies send extra blood to the surface veins to try and cool down. Additionally veins will dilate to increase their surface area, this allows them to get nearer to the surface of the skin so that your blood will cool off faster. These instances of vein bulging should not cause immediate worry.
Fun fact: Veins in the body are classified as “capacitance” vessels which in simple terms means they normally change their diameter to accommodate different states.
What Does It Mean If Your Veins Bulge?
Bulging veins can be entirely normal. Especially if your veins are not sore, and after some rest the veins are no longer swollen and bulging. If you are concerned your veins are bulging due to a varicose vein disease, the doctors at The Vein Institute can use the latest technology to eliminate them.
When bulging veins may be a concern
In a few rare cases, prominent veins can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. You should seek immediate medical care if you experience bulging veins accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Skin ulcers near the bulging veins
These symptoms could be a sign of a blood clot, or of peripheral vascular disease.
Seek expert advice
The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive program using non-surgical laser treatment techniques. You can learn more in our Definitive Guide to Varicose Vein Treatment.
The benefits of non-surgical varicose vein treatment are:
- Walk-in walk-out treatment
- 98% success rate
- Extremely effective
- Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
- No general anaesthetic
- Medicare rebates apply
- No downtime or time away from work