Veins are vital for the human body’s daily functions. Everything from heavy activity to simply lying on the couch puts these little tubes to work, pumping blood throughout the body in order to make sure everything is working properly.

While most veins are contained within the body, for one reason or another, some veins find their way to the surface. This may have you wondering — why can I see my veins? Or worse, are visible veins a problem?

We’re practicing vein specialists in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As vein doctors, we get patients from the Brookfield area and beyond asking us all sorts of questions, with this question in particular being a high-up entry on our FAQ.

In this article, we’re going to run down why you might be seeing your veins, if visible veins could spell trouble, and what can be done if you’re rather your veins stay out of sight and out of mind.

What makes veins visible?

In some cases, vein visibility is simply inevitable.

For example, look down at the inside of your wrists. See those little blue lines running across the inside of your arms? Those are your veins, visible due to the fact that they sit just below the skin.

You might be thinking, of course I know that. But why am I seeing more veins than I ever have before?

This question can have a few answers.

First, you might be seeing more veins simply because you’re getting older. Age causes the skin to thin and lose its elasticity, which in turn can make your veins more visible. Additionally, age can also cause the valves in your veins to weaken, which may lead to blood pooling in your veins. While this isn’t always an issue, it can enlarge the vein, making it more visible.

On the other hand, you may have just lost weight. Fat under the skin can hide veins, and once that fat is gone, you might find that you can see veins where it appeared no veins were before. This is nothing to be concerned about — it’s just the body adapting to your new shape.

Other factors outside the body can also cause veins to temporarily swell, including warm weather and a recent bout of exercise. Genetics can also play a role.

Are visible veins a problem?

Not necessarily — but they can be.

If you find that your newfound veins have taken the form of spider-like figures on your legs, face, or elsewhere on your body, you may have varicose veins. 

As this blog has detailed, varicose veins come about for numerous reasons. But once they’re there, it’s almost impossible to make them go away without professional treatment.

While varicose veins by themselves may not present any immediate issues, leaving them untreated may lead to problems in the future. For example, many people with varicose veins claim that they tend to itch; others report pain and burning sensations — all different issues with different — short-term — cures.

The only way to prevent veins like these from becoming a problem in the future is to have them treated.

Thankfully, in most cases, this is a quick, nearly painless procedure, and a majority of those who complete it can return to their normal lives just a few hours after the procedure. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, or if you have any questions, fee free to get in contact.

How do I make my veins less visible?

Aside from the aforementioned treatment, there are a few things you can do to make your veins less visible for a short period of time.

You can ice your veins, elevate them, or do some light exercise to prevent blood from pooling and causing them to bulge.

If vein visibility is causing you embarrassment or bringing about feelings of shyness, you may consider applying some makeup to the area in order to make the veins appear less prominent.

However, the only long-term solution to visible veins is professional treatment.

If you are interested in a vein procedure or if you’d like to ask one of our specialists a question, reach out to our clinic. We’ll be happy to help you with your issue.