What You Need to Know About Hand Veins
Are the veins in your hands prominent or bulging? Find out what could be causing your symptoms, and how you can get rid of them.
Experts estimate that one in three Americans over the age of 45 has some kind of vein disease, including spider veins, varicose veins, and blood clots. Although most people focus on venous disorders in the legs, the hands are also susceptible to swollen, bulging veins, especially as we age.
Visible hand veins are generally harmless, but in some cases they may be a sign of a serious underlying condition. Here’s what you need to know about prominent hand veins, and how you can treat them.
What Causes Bulging Hand Veins?
Age. In most cases, swollen veins in the hands are simply a product of age. As we get older, our skin becomes thinner and loses its elasticity. This makes the veins more prominent, and may even cause them to bulge. Plus, as the valves in the veins weaken with age, blood begins to pool and enlarge the vein.
Exercise. You may notice that your veins appear more swollen after you exercise. This is normal: when you work out, your blood pressure rises. This makes your veins stand out more, especially during strength training. Generally, your veins will return to normal once your blood pressure drops, but lifting weights regularly may cause the veins to bulge permanently.
Weather. Heat can have a similar effect, causing your veins to enlarge and appear more prominent. While warm weather makes it more difficult for your veins to function as they should, when you cool down your veins should return to normal.
Pregnancy. During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes many changes to provide for the growing baby. Blood flow may increase up to 40%, which can cause veiny hands, as well as varicose veins in the abdomen, legs, and feet. Once a woman has delivered her baby and the added pressure is removed, bulging veins generally disappear.
Vascular Disease. In rare cases, bulging veins in your hands may be a sign of a more serious problem. Varicose veins on your legs, arms, or hands often signify chronic venous insufficiency, which means the veins have difficulty pumping blood back to the heart. This condition can result in serious complications, like deep vein thrombosis (blood clots that develop deep in the body) or superficial thrombophlebitis (painful and inflamed veins near the surface of the skin). If you think you are showing signs of vascular disease, it’s important to visit a doctor immediately.
Treating Prominent Hand Veins
Bulging veins in the hands are usually a cosmetic, not medical, concern, and the treatment process is quick and effective. Vein specialists typically treat hand veins with procedures similar to those used for leg varicose veins.
Therapies include endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), in which an ultrasound is used to guide a small laser fiber into the damaged vein. When this laser heats up, it closes and seals the vein. Similarly, visual or ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy involves injecting a chemical into targeted veins, which causes them to shrink and then collapse. The blood is them re-routed to other less noticeable veins.
Hand vein treatments are minimally invasive, fast, and practically pain-free. Sclerotherapy does not require anesthesia, while EVLT only requires local anesthesia. You can expect to be out of the doctor’s office within a couple of hours and return to your normal activities as soon as possible.
If you are bothered by your bulging, swollen veins, there’s a simple and effective solution. Get in touch with Vein911 to set up your free telemedicine evaluation. Or, make an appointment at one of our four convenient locations in the Clearwater/Tampa/St. Petersburg area. Our vein specialists will discuss your unique situation and help determine the right treatment for you.