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Veins are visible across the human body. Just take a look at your wrists or ankles — it’s totally normal for some veins to be seeable through the skin while others exist deeper beneath the surface. Additionally, vein patterns are not completely consistent across people, so you might have visible veins where a friend or partner might not.
However, you might be concerned that some of the veins that you currently see on your body shouldn’t be visible.
We’re practicing vein specialists in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, and this is a question we hear all the time. Why do I see my veins in my legs? And if they’re dangerous, what can I do about my leg veins?
In this article, we’re going to explain which veins are typically visible in your legs, which aren’t, and when those visible veins might prove dangerous.
Why are some veins visible while others aren’t?
First, we’re going to break this category down into two parts: sometimes visible, and always visible.
Let’s talk about when your veins are sometimes visible. If you’re ever had a heavy workout, you might have noticed that you appear more vascular for the time following your exercise.
The reason for this is simple. When you exercise, your muscles require more blood. To compensate for this, your blood pressure increases, in turn causing your veins to dilate — which then makes them visible on the skin.
Your veins can also dilate when you’re stressed, owing both to the stress hormone cortisol and another hormone called aldosterone. The latter hormone can both increase blood pressure and cause water and sodium retention, leading to swelling veins.
Now, let’s talk about always visible veins. In general, the main areas where it is considered ‘normal’ to see visible veins is on the hands, in the inner arm, and on some areas of the legs. This is not a comprehensive list, and you may have visible veins on other areas of your body that are perfectly normal and healthy.
If you’ve found that some of your veins are both newly visible and newly always visible — especially on the legs — you might have varicose veins.
Varicose veins occur when vein valves weaken and blood pressure inside the vein increases. This causes blood to pool within the veins, making them show through the skin.
Are my leg veins dangerous?
If you’ve noticed some new leg veins, this is probably the first question on your mind. Don’t worry — unless your veins are causing you discomfort, you are most likely just fine.
However, that doesn’t mean that these veins won’t cause issues in the future.
People with varicose veins report symptoms like itching, burning, and general discomfort. Furthermore, some people say they dislike the appearance of their varicose veins, leading them to cover their legs more often.
There are also additional risks that come with varicose veins. While more severe issues like blood clots are rare but possible, problems like varicose veins being accidentally cut and bleeding excessively occur more often than many would like.
If you have deep calf or thigh pain paired with a swelling of the leg, it is advisable to seek a medical professional as soon as possible.
How do I stop dangerous veins?
There are a few things you can do to prevent visible veins from forming on your legs.
First, you can change your daily routine to include more exercise. Even making small changes like adding walks into your day, or changing from a sitting to a standing desk, can do wonders for varicose vein prevention.
Additionally, you can invest in a quality pair of well-fitted compression stockings. These will assist in leg blood flow and will slow the development of varicose veins in the legs.
What can I do about my dangerous veins?
If you already have varicose veins that are causing you discomfort, you can try elevating them and icing them at any opportunity.
That said, there is only one long-term solution to vein issues — vein treatment. Treatment for varicose veins today is quick, easy, and relatively pain-free. In fact, the majority of our patients are able to return to work the same day!
If you’re interested in solving your vein problems for good, get in contact with us. We would love to work with you to find a solution to your problems!