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Visible Hand Veins and Why You Have Them?

Updated on Nov 29, 2021 by Dr. George Bolotin (Vein & Vascular Specialist) of Vein & Vascular Medical Care

What Do Visible Veins on Hands Mean?

Many people suffer from veiny hands, a condition in which the hand veins become visibly bigger and seem to swell out near the skin surface. It makes the hands look vulnerable and old, which is not aesthetically pleasing. Visible hand veins are a natural part of aging, but they could also be a sign of some severe underlying vein disease that requires medical attention and should not be ignored.

You must keep a check on your veins and have them examined by a physician to determine if you are suffering from varicose veins or some other venous disorder. Even if the visible hand veins are just a cosmetic issue, you can get them treated with advanced and minimally invasive treatment options with an expert’s help. You do not have to live with them for the rest of your life if their enlarged looks bother you.
Hand Veins-Arm Veins

Why Do the Hand Veins Bulge?

Mostly visible hand veins are attributed to aging, blood pressure, and lack of elasticity in the skin, but other factors could be at work. People who are very fit and young face visible hand veins due to a lower percentage of fat in the body. Obese or overweight people do not notice visible veins too much as the fat buries the veins.

The doctor can identify visible hand vein issues, explain why you have them and find a treatment plan that works best for you. Generally, they are not a cause for concern, but if you are uncomfortable with them, there are simple ways to remove them or reduce their effect. If your visible hand veins point to some medical problem, the doctor will suggest further tests and advise treatment to manage your condition most effectively.

As hands are the most visible and used part of our body, there are cosmetic options for improving their old and gnarled appearance.

Causes of Visible Hand Veins

Hand veins become more visible as the skin begins to lose its elasticity and fats. Changes in blood pressure and thinning of the skin can also make the veins bulge out, and they become more pronounced. Anyone can face bulging veins without any specific cause.

What Causes Visible Veins on Hands?

There are several reasons why you might be having bulging veins in your hands. Some of them include:

  • Low body fat – If you do not have fat on your hands, veins seem more visible.
  • Age – As you age, the skin gets thinner and loses elasticity making the veins more visible. Also, the valves in the skin weaken with age, and it causes the blood to pool in the veins for a long time, enlarging the veins and making them bulge out.
  • Exercise – Blood pressure rises with activity, and the veins get pushed closer to the skin. People who do many strength training exercises face this issue more than people who do not exercise at all. Frequent weight lifts or workouts can increase the blood flow, and the hardening of muscles can cause prominent veins.
  • Genetics – If your immediate family members have bulging veins, the chances are that you will get them too.
  • Hot weather – Sometimes high temperatures make it challenging for the veins to work right, which enlarges them.
  • Varicose veins – They are found in the legs than hands and appear when the vein valves weaken. The varicose veins can be twisted, enlarged, and painful.
  • Phlebitis – A hand infection, trauma, or autoimmune disease can inflame the veins, which makes them bulge out.
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis is the inflammation of the external vein (phlebitis) caused by a blood clot (thrombus). It may result from an injury of a vein-like having an IV catheter inserted.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – Bulging hand veins can result from a blood clot deep in the arm’s veins due to circulatory problems.
  • Pregnancy – The blood flow in the veins increases by 20 to 40% during pregnancy to supply blood and nutrients to the baby in the womb, which leads to veiny hands.

Some severe but unusual causes of bulging hand veins include:

  • Abnormalities in the chest
  • Extra ribs known as cervical ribs

These conditions obstruct normal blood flow. As the blood flowing through the hand veins goes back to the heart, an extra rib or a tumor pressing on the veins thwarts the blood that bulges the veins out. The doctor will examine your hands thoroughly and suggest further tests to make a proper diagnosis. He will develop the most effective means to restore blood circulation and manage your condition most effectively. Treating visible hand veins is easy now, and you can look forward to having young and graceful hands even at an advanced age.

Prevention and Diagnosis

Visible hand veins are rarely a sign of some severe disorder, but it is best to consult a doctor to know more about what you are going through. It could be a sign of vascular diseases such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that obstructs the blood flow and increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks, and getting it checked can prevent further problems.

Also, you cannot control certain factors, such as aging. As you grow old, the hand veins become more prominent. The visibility of the veins is often affected by the amount of body fat of an individual. Once the doctor accurately diagnoses the reason behind the prominently visible veins on your hands, he will determine the treatment.

Treating Visible Hand Veins

Treatment of bulging hand veins depends on what is causing them. Discuss your condition with an expert vein specialist to discover what works best for your case. Dr. Jonathan Arad will recommend a vein screening test to determine what is causing the veins to bulge out. He will rule out the possibility of underlying vein diseases that require medical attention to develop effective treatment options.

Procedures to treat visible hand veins may include:

  • Sclerotherapy – a chemical solution is injected into the bulging veins, which scars and closes them.
  • Vein stripping and ligation – this procedure closes the vein that supplies blood to the targeted vein.
  • Micro-phlebectomy – also known as ambulatory phlebectomy, removes targeted veins via small incisions under local anesthesia.

Endothermal laser ablation is for treating smaller veins, and the doctor uses amplified light or radio waves to close veins.

During these procedures, while under general anesthesia, the doctor will make the incision, tie off the vein and remove it. After the doctor closes the targeted vein, the blood that runs in the veins is automatically shifted, and the closed vein eventually fades away. These procedures deliver good results and have a high patient satisfaction rate.

Treatment is more for cosmetic purposes, as most people do not like veins that stand out and make their hands look old and worn. The expert vein doctor will identify your condition, explain what is causing it, and offer a combination of treatment procedures that make your hands tighter and younger again.

Schedule an appointment with an expert vein doctor to know more about your bulging veins and get them fixed now. You will get the best advice regarding visible veins and why you have them at Astra Vein Treatment Center. Working with Dr. George Bolotin is the first step towards getting your condition diagnosed and effectively alleviating the problem.

Dr. George Bolotin has either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Vein & Vascular Medical Care
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