Seeing your veins protrude from your legs, arms or other parts of your body can be completely normal. In fact, most people live with at least a few veins that protrude more than others.
Occasionally, bulging veins in the legs are a health issue and indicate a more severe medical condition, but it is essential to know when to worry about bulging veins so you can receive the treatment you need sooner.
Visible Veins: Common Causes
There are a variety of reasons you may be seeing bulging veins. Some are harmless, while others may be cause for alarm.
The main reason your lower extremity veins bulge or pop out from the skin is due to a malfunctioning valve somewhere within the vein. This causes the blood to flow inefficiently upward and pool throughout the vein, causing it to become enlarged and twisted in appearance.
The most common causes for this occurrence include:
- Genetics or a family history of vein abnormalities
- Hormonal changes
- Lack of movement
- Blood flow constriction
When Is It Normal to See Protruding Veins?
As mentioned, bulging veins do not always indicate an underlying issue. There are certain instances where seeing bulging veins is considered normal, including:
- In older adults with thinning skin
- In people with a lower body fat percentage or larger muscle mass
- In athletes associated with intense physical activity such as weight-lifting or extreme cardio
Are my bulging veins varicose veins?
Nearly a quarter of Americans live with bulging veins, which can appear for numerous reasons. Used interchangeably with the title “varicose veins,” bulging veins are typically harmless but can lead to more severe venous issues if they continue to worsen and are left untreated.
Varicose veins are defined as enlarged, sometimes twisted veins. They are most commonly found on the lower legs and can cause various symptoms.
In most instances, if you live with bulging veins, they are probably varicose.
Varicose Vein Symptoms
Although symptoms and severity vary by person, the most common symptoms of varicose veins, outside of the bulgy purplish appearance on the legs, include:
- Achiness in the legs
- Skin discoloration
When to Seek Medical Care for Visible Veins
Depending on the severity of your varicose veins, you may not experience symptoms at all. Most patients report mild to moderate symptoms based on the size of their varicose veins and the area in which they cover.
We encourage you to seek medical treatment right away if you experience:
- Extreme leg pain or sudden numbness
- Leg swelling
- Breathing difficulty
- Chest pain
- Skin discoloration
These symptoms may be direct indicators of more serious medical issues such as:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Blood clots
- Pulmonary embolism
Compassionate Care for Bulging Veins Near You
Virginia Vein Care understands the worry that can come from bulging veins.
We proudly offer a wide range of minimally invasive treatment options to effectively care for varicose veins and other venous conditions that may be affecting your quality of life and overall health. For prompt diagnosis and comprehensive treatment for your vein condition, please visit a Virginia Vein Care location near you.