Have you noticed that the veins on the back of your hands appear to bulge out of your skin? These enlarged, bulging veins are common, and more often than not, they are completely harmless. Aside from popping out of the skin, they also might look like twisted ropes and are sometimes discolored, appearing either blue or purple. They are not only visible to the eye, but you can feel them bulging out of the skin as well.
For some, bulging veins in hands is more of a cosmetic issue than a medical issue; however, if you are experiencing uncomfortable or painful symptoms, it is a good idea to consult a vein doctor to ensure there is nothing more serious going on with your health.
We all have veins, some more prominently noticeable than others. Veins on the hands are sometimes more noticeable than elsewhere on the body. This is because the skin on the back of the hands is very thin, so the appearance of superficial veins is visible to the naked eye. You may also notice veins visible through the surface of the skin on the tops of the feet, the legs, or on your ankles.
Veins are our lifeline; their main function is to keep blood flowing toward the heart, and we have veins all throughout the body that keep our heart pumping strong. So if these veins are normal, why do veins bulge out of the skin?
There are a lot of different reasons for bulging hand veins. Some of the reasons are due to natural parts of life that are not in your control, such as aging or having family members who also have bulging veins. As you age, skin begins to lose its elasticity and becomes thinner and sometimes more translucent, which is why you might start to see your veins appear more prominently than you did when you were young. Aging also causes the valves within our veins to weaken, which prevents blood from making its way through the veins back up to the heart. Instead, the blood begins to pool in the vein and causes the veins to become larger and in turn, bulge out of the skin.
People who engage in strenuous activity, especially strength training type of exercise, are prone to bulging veins. Athletes and bulging veins sometimes go hand-in-hand because of this. During intense exercise, blood pressure rises and that causes veins to move closer to the surface of the skin — which is why they are more visible. Although the veins will usually just go back to their normal state after the body has cooled down and blood pressure normalizes, sometimes bulging veins become permanent in those who strength train frequently because the constant increase of blood flow can cause muscles to harden over time.
For example, bodybuilders are often known to have very prominent bulging veins all over their muscles. Alternatively, people who do a lot of cardio and have low body fat as a result, or are just naturally very thin, may also be prone to bulging veins. This is especially true on the backs of hands. If there is not a lot of fat on the hands, veins are more likely to stick out.
In some cases, bulging veins can be caused by venous conditions. Varicose veins are one of the main causes for bulging veins, although this is more commonly found in the lower extremities than in the hands. Varicose veins develop because of weak valves in the veins that do not allow blood to flow to the heart. The blood pools, causing the veins to enlarge and bulge out of the skin. Usually there are a lot of uncomfortable symptoms that are associated with varicose veins, such as pain, achiness, heaviness, swelling, itching, and bleeding. Varicose Veins can happen due to a variety of reasons, including smoking cigarettes, being overweight, being pregnant or menopausal, sitting or standing for extended periods of time, and genetics.
Additionally, bulging veins could be a sign of some kind of infection or trauma causing inflammation of a vein, which is also known as phlebitis. Autoimmune diseases can sometimes cause vein inflammation as well. Bulging veins can also occur due to superficial thrombophlebitis, which is when the phlebitis is caused by a blood clot. If there is a blood clot deep in the veins, it’s known as deep vein thrombosis, which can be very dangerous if left untreated and the blood clots travel into other parts of the body, blocking blood flow and causing a pulmonary embolism. Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include welling, pain, cramping or soreness, discoloration or a warm feeling in the affected area, but sometimes deep vein thrombosis can happen without any symptoms at all.
If your bulging veins are accompanied by any of these symptoms, it could indicate that you have a venous condition and you should seek treatment for bulging veins from a vein doctor. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, but are still concerned about your bulging veins, a consultation with a Miami vein doctor can help calm your nerves and get you answers as to why your veins look this way.
Deciding the course of treatment for bulging veins will depend on the underlying cause. If the main cause for concern is lack of blood flow, compression garments will be recommended to promote circulation of blood through the body. While compression stockings or socks for the legs and feet are used more often, there are compression sleeves that can be worn on the arms or compression gloves for the hands. Compression wear is used as a preventative measure as well, helping to decrease the risk for developing varicose veins and other venous conditions.
If there is a more serious venous condition causing the bulging veins, there are minimally invasive procedures available to treat the veins. Sclerotherapy and endovenous laser ablation are two of the most effective and least invasive treatment options for treating varicose veins.
Bulging veins might not be entirely preventable, especially if you are genetically prone to get them, but there are a few simple lifestyle adjustments you can make to keep your veins healthy. The most important thing is to keep your body moving. If your job requires you to sit at a desk all day, take breaks to get up and stretch and walk around every 30 minutes. Adopting a regular workout routine is ideal, but even just a short ten minute walk or light stretching is just as good. However, if you are overweight, shedding those extra pounds will drastically lower your risk for developing bulging veins or any kind of venous condition. Additionally, avoid very tight clothing that could restrict blood flow, increase your water intake, and if you are a cigarette smoker, quit. Smoking is detrimental to your overall health, especially your veins.
If bulging veins are causing concern for you, the team of vein specialists at Fox Vein & Laser Experts is here to help. Dr. Susan B Fox D. O., RPVI, FSVM is an expert in vein and vascular diagnosis and treatment, with decades of experience and success. Schedule a consultation by calling our office at 954-627-1045.
© Copyright 2023 Fox Vein & Laser Experts
Powered by Karmasnack
Disclaimer: Fox Vein & Laser Experts is owned by Dr. Susan Fox, DABVLM, D.O., RPVI, FSVM and makes the best effort to treat your vein problems. The vein treatment results may vary for an individual patient based on the diseases and problems. Fox Vein & Laser Experts does not guarantee that you will experience the same results as highlighted in ‘before and after’ pictures and as shared in testimonials.