What are Bulging Veins

What are Bulging Veins?

August 27, 2023 The Vein Institute

Bulging veins are enlarged veins right underneath the skin’s surface. They are often not a cause for concern. But, depending on the specifics of their appearance and if they are accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, itchiness, or pain, they can sometimes point to an underlying health condition. You might be wondering what your bulging veins could mean. To learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments available, keep reading.

Normal causes of bulging veins

man with bulging veins

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.

Large, prominent veins in the elderly

Age is a large contributor to bulging veins because the ageing process can cause veins to weaken and lose their elasticity. At that point, they may become enlarged and bulge. Although there is no immediate cause for concern, these veins should be checked by a 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.

Abnormal causes of bulging veins

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 peripheral vascular disease.

Bulging veins due to Phlebitis

Phlebitis can develop when the blood vessel walls are damaged. This damage can be caused by injury, trauma, or infection to your veins. Phlebitis usually affects the veins in the legs, but you can also get it in your arms or neck. The main symptoms are:

  • Pain and tenderness in the affected area
  • Swelling 
  • Warm and itchy skin localised around the affected vein
  • Changes in the surrounding skin’s colour or texture

Phlebitis must be 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). 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’s 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.

Relieving bulging vein symptoms

The key to healthier veins is finding ways to boost your circulation and support overall vein function. These include: 

These steps will be especially important during pregnancy since the fluctuating progesterone levels and increased blood volume can exacerbate your symptoms.

The above steps will go a long way to making your veins happier and healthier. But to take it one step further, you should also try:

  • Eating vein-friendly foods.
  • Cutting down on unhealthy foods.
  • Quit smoking. This particular habit damages the lining of your veins, making it easier for blood cells to stick, clump, and turn into blood clots.
  • Cut down on alcohol. An occasional glass of red wine is perfectly fine, but too much alcohol makes your circulation sluggish.

Is there a way to get rid of my bulging veins?

Bulging due to physical activity is a natural bodily response, so it can’t really be treated. However, bulging veins due to phlebitis or varicose veins requires medical treatment. So, if you find that you’re suffering from bulging varicose veins, it’s time to get them checked by a professional. Fortunately, you no longer need to undergo surgery to address the condition.

The Vein Institute offers non-surgical treatment options that can be done on a walk-in walk-out basis. With the latest medical technologies, our highly skilled team of specialists performs treatments that are safe, effective, and minimally invasive.

Book an appointment with us by giving us a call at 13 VEINS (13 83467) by filling out this form.