Bulging Leg Veins

How to Tell If Bulging Veins Are Healthy or Troublesome

Bulging veins and veins popping out are common among both men and women of all ages. These bulges don’t typically display symptoms that would indicate any serious medical or vein problems, but if bulging veins are left untreated, they can lead to life-threatening vein conditions and could require treatment. Approximately 23% percent of U.S. adults suffer from bulging veins, also known as varicose veins, which can arise for multiple reasons. Read through this blog article to learn more about vein health, and learn if your bulging veins are healthy, or actually troublesome.

Why Do Leg Veins Bulge?

A malfunctioning valve in the veins causes them to project outward, or bulge. You may notice your vein bulging with a lack of movement after sitting for an extended period of time. Bulging veins can also occur with aging, obesity, and pregnancy. Valves are like one-way flaps that help to regulate blood flow through the veins. When it doesn’t work properly, it prevents the blood from flowing upward as it normally should. Instead, blood flows backward which leads to veins becoming enlarged.

Why Are My Veins Popping Out?

Common causes of bulging veins in legs include:

  • Obstruction of blood flow
  • Obesity
  • Lack of movement
  • Aging
  • Pregnancy
  • Thrombophlebitis (swelling and inflammation)

When Are Bulging Leg Veins Normal? 

In many cases, vein bulging is normal to see in certain situations. Bulging leg veins don’t often indicate an underlying health problem or confirm a critical medical issue. If you noticing bulging leg veins in your legs, don’t immediately panic. You can expect veins to naturally bulge under the following circumstances:

  • Thin skin due to aging
  • Low body fat
  • Increased blood pressure due to intense physical activity

Varicose veins are particularly common among pregnant women. Although the vein bulging can be discomforting and bothersome, it is not life-threatening. Typical symptoms of bulging veins include:

  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Discomfort
  • Heavy feeling in the affected area
  • Hardening of veins

These symptoms don’t usually worsen. Even though varicose veins are uncomfortable and unsightly, they can go away or improve after the baby is born within three to four months. Some women report that their varicose veins caused by pregnancy never went away. If a pregnant woman has poor circulation and varicose veins, the condition can progress over time. Compression socks and compression hoses are advised to increase blood flow and circulation in the legs.

When Are Varicose Veins Unhealthy?

There is substantial research that varicose veins share a link to blood clots and can lead to the following conditions:

  • Pulmonary Embolism – PE occurs when a blood clot travels to the lungs. Symptoms typically include shortness of breath and chest pain.
  • Superficial Vein Thrombosis – SVT is a type of blood clot that forms right below the skin’s surface. Symptoms include limb pain, skin warmth around the vein, and red, inflamed skin along the vein.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis – DVT refers to blood clots that develop deep in the veins throughout your body. In some cases, there are no symptoms. In other instances, the disorder causes swelling and leg pain.

When Do You Need Medical Care for Bulging Veins?

Generally speaking, varicose veins are a harmless condition. You may not experience symptoms or have an underlying health problem. However, there are instances where bulging veins cause symptoms that often require attention from healthcare professionals. As a result, adults should not turn a blind eye to these physical issues:

  • Leg pain
  • Leg swelling
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Discoloration
  • Skin ulceration

Get Rid of Protruding Veins

There is ongoing research exploring the connection between bulging veins and blood clots. There are also indications that if these conditions go untreated, it could lead to life-threatening conditions such a deep vein thrombosis, superficial vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.

If you experience shortness of breath, chest pain or swollen legs, it is recommended that you seek medical attention. If you’re experiencing varicose veins, be sure to review your treatment options, and contact us with any questions you may have. You can also opt for a non-invasive surgical intervention that can treat unsightly, painful leg vein problems. Our team of specialists can treat vein disease in Sycamore and Geneva. Contact us today at Gilvydis Vein Clinic and schedule a free screening by filling out our online form

Image Credit: Getty/anurakpong