Three Reasons Why Your Veins Become Visible, & When to Worry

Ugh, those visible veins that change your leg’s appearance! We all want to know that our veins are healthy and working properly…but that doesn’t mean we want to see them through our skin!

Your veins are responsible for bringing deoxygenated blood to your heart, as opposed to arteries which bring oxygenated blood to your body from your heart.

While those with fairer skin tones can have more visible veins, unfortunately, several factors make it more likely for your veins to become visible. First, we’ll go over your risk factors, and then—because we’re Houston-based vein specialists – we’ll help you figure out how to treat visible, bulging veins!

1. Your Age Affects your Veins.

The older you get, the more visible your veins become. Why? As you age, your skin becomes thinner and produces less collagen, and at the same time, your veins weaken, getting stretched out and collecting more pooled blood. In combination, these two elements contribute to larger veins that are easily visible through your skin.


2. Your body weight makes visible veins.

If you are underweight or have very little body fat, your veins will appear closer to the surface of your skin and become more visible. At the same time, if you’re overweight, you put more pressure on your legs. In turn, this can make it harder to get blood back up to your heart as it flows against gravity. This means pooling blood can stretch your veins and change their color, making them darker.

At that point, you would also notice visible veins, a sign of our next contributing factor…


3. Vein disease and Visible Veins

Even without aging, vein disease can cause varicose veins to develop, and these are more visible than veins that work properly. You see varicose veins develop when valves, typically in your leg veins, stop working properly. This keeps blood from flowing out of your legs, causing it to pool in your veins.

As the blood accumulates, your veins darken and bulge, becoming more visible.  You may also develop symptoms such as swelling, cramps or leg pain, itching, and heaviness in your legs.

Now, keep in mind: varicose veins affect up to 35% of Americans. Many people think they can ignore the veins, dismissing them as merely unsightly but not dangerous. But here’s the thing: while the veins themselves don’t cause serious medical issues, their appearance could be a sign of bigger problems brewing beneath the surface of your skin.


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Valves and Veins

Veins are blood vessels that return blood back to your heart from other parts of your body. Your veins contain a series of valves that are supposed to open and close easily, helping your body fight gravity to push blood up toward the heart.

Sometimes, those valves don’t work well, and your circulation suffers—causing blood to flow backward or pool in your legs and feet. When that condition sets in, you are experiencing something called venous insufficiency.

As it turns out, varicose veins can actually be a symptom of venous insufficiency: the pooling blood is what causes your veins to bulge as they become overwhelmed.

Signs of A Problem

Varicose veins are a visible symptom of venous insufficiency, which is why they are helpful indicators. Other symptoms of this condition include chronic leg swelling, especially swelling that gets worse throughout the day; heavy legs; and, surprisingly, pelvic pain.

You should see a physician if you begin experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding veins
  • Red, swollen veins
  • Trouble moving or performing basic tasks
  • Painful, warm veins
  • Rashes, lesions, or discolored legs

Why is it important to identify and treat venous insufficiency? The answer is this: with this condition, varicose veins are just the tip of the iceberg.

In severe cases, VI can cause you to develop a deep vein thrombosis (a clot that forms in the veins deep in your legs.) A DVT is a medical emergency because if it breaks loose from your leg veins, it could travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism) and threaten your life.

Treating Your Varicose Veins

Many times, our Houston vein specialists are able to diagnose VI because a patient seeks treatment for varicose veins.

Thankfully, many varicose veins can be treated quickly, with minimally invasive procedures. And the opportunity to diagnose a bigger, potentially life-threatening problem? Worth every moment of a so-called cosmetic consultation!

Fill out a simple formsimple formsimple form today to set up your appointment with Texas Endovascular if you’re experiencing visible and painful leg veins.

Sources: Women Fitness Magazine

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