We all have veins in our hands, and they may begin to become more and more noticeable over time as we age and skin starts to become thinner. Sometimes, however, we might notice changes in the skin near our veins that could indicate something else is going on.
If you notice discoloration in the skin on your hands in the form of flat patches or small dots, this could be a sign that you have popped veins causing there to be bleeding beneath the surface of the skin. These popped veins in hands typically occur because of an injury to the skin that causes the blood vessel to burst. Blood is then released into the body. Sometimes, that blood comes so close to the surface of the skin, that it becomes visible.
When the blood is visible under the skin, you may see little red dots, also known as petechiae, and/or the flat patches, known as purpura. Another sign that your hand veins may have popped is bruising. In some cases, the bleeding into the skin might not be visible and instead, you may experience other symptoms such as swelling, a stinging sensation, tenderness, or pain and discomfort in the affected area.
Be careful not to confuse birthmarks or “beauty marks” with a popped vein. Yes, these are discolored areas of skin, likely due to an excess of melatonin in that part of the body, but birthmarks are not an indication of popped veins that are bleeding beneath the skin. A good way to test whether or not the mark you are seeing is a popped vein or bleeding vein is to press your finger down on the skin where the mark is and check its color. If it becomes pale as you press down and returns to its normal color after you release your finger, you are in the clear. If the skin does not become pale as you press down on it, that is a sign that your veins are leaking blood into the skin.
It does not always need to be a major accident that causes this to happen though. It could be something as minor as walking into the sharp corner of a table and hitting your hand. It could also be caused by a needle injury, i.e., if you are giving blood or getting intravenous (IV) therapy and the needle is improperly inserted into the veins on the top of your hands.
During these procedures that involve a needle being inserted in the skin, medical professionals may accidentally puncture a vein if the needle is inserted wrong. This can happen if the wrong size needle is used or there is not enough pressure holding the needle in place while blood is being drawn. Sometimes, the technician may move too much while inserting the needle, especially if they are having trouble finding the vein and have to move the needle around to get it to stick. This is a common issue in older patients, as the skin is much thinner and sensitive as we age and it can be harder to insert the needle directly into the vein. Needle injuries are also common in people who have pre-existing vein damage from an excess of other intravenous treatments.
Popped veins that happen as a result of these minor injuries are no cause for concern. They typically do not result in any long-term damage, so there is no need to worry. These injuries will heal on their own within about two weeks.
However, if the pain and/or bleeding persists or it gets worse, and you notice that the veins are not healing, you should seek immediate medical attention from a vein specialist. Watch out for these symptoms as well: darkening or discoloration of the affected area, swelling, a lump forming over the area that is bleeding, fever, headaches or dizziness, finding it difficult to move the affected hand, and any excess bleeding that seems out of the ordinary, i.e., blood in your urine or stool, nose bleeds, or bleeding in the gums.
Other possible causes of popped veins in the hands include autoimmune disorders, side effects from medications like blood thinners or other prescriptions that may cause excess bleeding, an allergic reaction, and an infection or disease. It also can happen due to the natural, normal process of aging.
While most of the time a popped vein is nothing to worry about, if the symptoms are not going away or continue to come back, it could be a warning that there is something more serious going on that needs to be addressed. Bleeding in the skin can also be a sign of certain diseases, such as meningitis, leukemia, strep throat and sepsis.
Typically, popped veins that cause bleeding into the skin can be treated in the comfort of your own home. The most common and helpful option for treatment of popped veins at home in the hands are icing the area for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time using a cold compress or wrapped ice pack and keeping the limb elevated to assist with circulation and blood flow. If you are experiencing pain, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate any discomfort. It is also recommended to avoid any strenuous exercise or general activity while healing to avoid the risk of popping the vein again.
If these at-home treatments do not stop the bleeding, and the symptoms persist, it is time to see a vein doctor in Miami. Once the vein doctor has determined the cause of the popped veins, a treatment plan can be put in place. If the bleeding is caused by a certain medication, your doctor may suggest you stop taking the medication and see if the bleeding then stops on its own. In other cases, prescription medications or vein treatments may be recommended to help heal the injury.
Don’t be nervous about the popped veins you may see on the tops of your hands. In the majority of cases, if you follow the protocol for at-home treatments, the veins will heal on their own. If you have concerns or find that the veins are not healing, contact Fox Vein & Laser Experts and our team will answer your questions and perform a consultation to determine the best treatment plan for you.
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