Blood flows through your body using blood vessels, and sometimes, you might notice bulging or popping veins in your legs, hands, or feet. These swollen veins can look a bit odd and, for those of us in our later years, can really show off our age. The great news is that most of the time, bulging veins aren’t actually a sign of poor health. However, there are cases when they might be linked to an underlying medical issue. Either way, we’re here to fill you in on everything you should know about bulging veins.
Why Are My Veins Popping Out?
Bulging veins stand out more than usual, appearing raised or sometimes twisted right under your skin. You’ll mostly find them on your legs and arms. They usually look blue or dark purple and can be caused by any of the following factors:
- Aging: As you age, your skin gets thinner and less elastic, making our blood vessels more visible. It’s all a normal part of getting older.
- Genetics: Having family members with bulging veins increases your chances of getting them.
- Hot Weather: Heat can cause veins to become more noticeable and enlarged, as they have to work harder in higher temperatures, making them more visible.
- Hormone Imbalance: When this happens during pregnancy or menopause, it can result in the appearance of varicose or bulging veins. Pregnancy in particular can increase vein pressure and hinder blood flow to the heart, making veins more prominent.
- Exercise: Heavy lifting for long periods can increase blood flow. The muscles harden, causing more visible blood vessels. Over-stretching can also play a role in making veins pop out.
- Blood Clots: Also known as thrombophlebitis, blood clots can obstruct the flow of blood within veins. This obstruction can increase venous pressure, leading to the enlargement and bulging of veins.
- Body Fat Loss: As you lose weight, the insulating layer of fat beneath your skin thins out. This reduction in fat makes your veins more visible.
- Health Conditions: Underlying cardiac conditions such as heart failure, various forms of heart disease, and coronary artery disease can lead to a persistent rise in blood pressure. This higher pressure can weaken your veins, which might lead to them bulging or popping out.
How to Get Rid of Bulging Veins in Your Legs
Bulging veins will usually go away on their own, especially if they’re caused by exercise or hot weather. But if they choose to persist, there are many useful ways to find relief. If you’ve been standing or sitting for too long, taking breaks to move around can help improve your circulation. This gets the blood moving back up from your legs to your heart and lowers the pressure in your veins, causing them to bulge less. Elevating your legs above heart level, especially after standing for long periods, can also help reduce vein swelling, as can over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.
Why are compression stockings good for bulging veins? Because they squeeze your legs, promoting blood flow back to the heart and mitigating swelling. Additionally, adopting a high-fiber, low-salt diet can help prevent swelling. To halt blood flow restriction, avoid tight clothing, especially around the waist, legs, and groin area. Maintaining proper hydration by drinking ample water can also positively impact circulation and overall vein health. Some individuals may find these herbal supplements to be beneficial for their bulging veins:
- Horse chestnut extract to promote circulation and lessen swelling.
- Grape seed extract for reducing inflammation.
- Witch hazel oral supplements to alleviate discomfort from varicose veins, which are characterized by bulging veins.
Are Bulging Veins the Same as Varicose Veins?
Not all bulging veins are varicose veins—most are generally harmless! However, if your veins are sticking out and causing you pain and discomfort, it might be a sign of a deeper issue related to untreated varicose veins. If you are concerned about the possibility of this, there are several key signs to watch out for.
Bulging varicose veins can cause aching or cramping pain in your legs, especially after sitting or standing for extended periods. A feeling of heaviness in the legs that gets worse throughout the day is another common symptom. Varicose veins can cause itching around the affected area and swelling in the ankles and feet due to poor circulation. Over time, the skin near these veins may become thin, discolored, or even develop ulcers. You might also feel a throbbing or burning sensation in your legs, and muscle cramps, particularly at night, are not uncommon.
If you are experiencing these intrusive symptoms, your bulging varicose veins are no longer just a cosmetic issue. One of the following treatments may be your solution for how to get rid of the bulging veins in your legs:
- Ambulatory phlebectomy is the removal of varicose veins through small incisions. Your doctor will make an incision to tie off and remove the vein, after which the blood reroutes and the closed vein gradually fades away.
- Sclerotherapy injects a chemical solution into the vein, causing it to scar and blood to then reroute through healthier veins.
- Varithena is a minimally invasive foam treatment used to close off and reduce varicose veins by injecting a sclerosant into the affected veins.
- Venaseal uses a medical adhesive to close and seal your bulging varicose veins, eventually causing it to be absorbed into your body.
- Venous Ablation is a treatment where a catheter is inserted into the vein and uses heat to collapse and close it.
Find Your Quick and Easy Treatment for Bulging Veins
Whether you’re stressing over your bulging veins because they point to a deeper health issue or you just don’t like how they look, don’t sweat it—there are plenty of fixes out there. If your bulging veins aren’t connected to varicose veins, there are plenty of non-invasive options and lifestyle adjustments that can make those veins go away. And if your bulging veins do stem from varicose veins, you’ve got a whole lineup of fast and easy treatments waiting for you. The first step towards a solution is just setting up an appointment with a vein doctor. So, now’s your perfect opportunity to get on the path to healthier, more comfortable legs and the confidence boost that follows!