You've probably heard that bulging veins in the legs are a common sign of a vascular condition, like varicose veins. But what about bulging veins in your hands? If you've noticed that the veins in your hands are more prominent than usual, it's possible that you're dealing with a condition called hand varicose veins.
While prominent veins in your hands aren't necessarily a cause for alarm, they can be a sign of an underlying condition that needs to be treated. Bulging hand veins can be varicose veins, which are sometimes a sign of a serious underlying vascular condition.
At , we specialize in the , and we treat bulging hand veins the way we'd treat unhealthy veins anywhere else in the body. If you're concerned about bulging veins in your hands, we can help. We offer a variety of treatments that can improve the appearance of your veins and relieve any pain or discomfort you may be experiencing.
Here are some of the most important things for any patient to know about hand varicose veins:
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that can occur anywhere in the body. They're most common in the legs, but they can also develop in the hands.
Varicose veins form when the valves in your veins stop working properly. These valves are responsible for keeping blood flowing in one direction, from your extremities back to your heart. Healthy veins should have strong valves that open and close easily.
When the valves in your veins are damaged or weak, blood can flow backward and pool in your veins. This causes the veins to become enlarged and twisted. Over time, varicose veins can become increasingly visible under the skin and cause symptoms like pain, swelling, and fatigue.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to the development of varicose veins, including:
- Age: As you get older, the valves in your veins may start to wear out
- Pregnancy: The added weight of a pregnancy can put extra strain on your veins
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese puts extra pressure on your veins
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time: This can cause blood clots to pool in your veins
Varicose veins are a common problem, and they affect millions of Americans.
Why Do Varicose Veins Appear On the Hands?
Varicose veins can develop anywhere in the body, but they're most common in the legs. This is because standing and walking upright puts extra pressure on the veins in your lower extremities.
When varicose veins form in the hands, it's usually due to a condition that causes increased pressure in the veins of the arms. As your blood pressure rises, it puts extra strain on the valves in the affected veins, causing them to weaken and fail.
Conditions that can cause hand varicose veins include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: This condition occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, becomes compressed. The compression can cause swelling and inflammation in the hands and fingers, which can lead to varicose veins.
- Eczema: This is a skin condition that can cause inflammation and itching. The scratching can damage the veins in the hands and lead to varicose veins.
- Arthritis: This is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints. The inflammation can put extra pressure on the veins in the hands, restricting proper blood flow and causing them to bulge.
Are My Prominent Hand Veins Normal?
Prominent veins in the hands aren't always varicose veins. Some people naturally have visible hand veins that can be seen close to the surface of the skin, and this is nothing to be concerned about.
Whether or not you should be alarmed by bulging hand veins depends on a number of factors, including your age, your medical history, and whether or not you're experiencing any symptoms.
If you're young and healthy with no history of vein problems, it's unlikely that your bulging veins are anything to worry about. However, if you have risk factors for developing varicose veins (such as age, obesity, or pregnancy), or if you're experiencing symptoms like pain, swelling, or fatigue along with your enlarged veins, you should see a doctor.
Here are some of the reasons why your hand veins may be a problem:
Sudden Bulging Veins Are a Red Flag
If you suddenly notice your veins popping more than usual, this could be a sign of a serious medical problem. Sudden, severe enlargement of the veins is called phlebitis, and it's a medical emergency.
Phlebitis occurs when a blood clot forms in the affected vein. This can block blood flow and cause the vein to swell. Phlebitis is a serious condition that can lead to permanent damage of the affected vein, so it's important to seek treatment right away if you think you might be experiencing it.
It Could Be Superficial Thrombophlebitis
Superficial thrombophlebitis is another condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein near the surface of the skin. This can cause the affected vein to swell and become painful. Unlike other forms of phlebitis, superficial thrombophlebitis is usually not serious, but it can occasionally lead to more severe problems like deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
You May Have Swollen Veins
Vein inflammation isn't a condition in and of itself -- more importantly, it signals an underlying cause that should be investigated by a vascular specialist. Some of the conditions that can cause veins to become swollen are deep vein thrombosis (DVT), superficial thrombophlebitis, and venous insufficiency.
It Might Be a Cosmetic Concern
For some people, veiny hands are simply a cosmetic concern. If your veins are large and visible, but you're not experiencing any pain or other symptoms, you may want to consider treatment for aesthetic reasons. Plenty of people would prefer not to have varicose veins, even if they're not causing any problems.
Treatment Options for Varicose Veins in Hands
If you have varicose veins in your hands, there are a few hand vein treatment options available. The best course of action will depend on the severity of your condition and whether or not you're experiencing any symptoms.
Some simple lifestyle changes can help improve the appearance of hand veins and reduce discomfort. These include:
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Elevating your hands when you're sitting or lying down
- Wearing compression gloves or sleeves
In some cases, more aggressive varicose veins treatment may be necessary. If your veins are causing pain or other symptoms, your doctor may recommend one of the following vein procedures:
- Sclerotherapy: This is a minimally-invasive procedure in which a solution is injected into the affected vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to collapse and close off.
- Endovenous laser ablation: This is a minimally-invasive procedure in which a laser is used to heat and destroy the affected vein.
If you have bulging veins in your hands, it's important to see a doctor to rule out any serious underlying conditions. Once any underlying medical problems have been ruled out, you can begin exploring treatment options to improve the appearance of your veins and reduce discomfort.
Visit the Top NYC Vein Doctor Near You
At , our team of expert vascular doctors is dedicated to helping you feel confident in your appearance and prevent vascular disease by treating varicose veins whenever and wherever they appear. We offer a comprehensive range of treatments, including lifestyle guidance, medication, and minimally-invasive procedures to make sure your arm and hand veins are as healthy as possible.