Why Are My Veins So Visible?

by NateB11

It's weird when your veins are showing. What causes that? Let's find out!

You might have noticed at times, or maybe all of the time, that the veins in your hands or arms or even face and chest or legs, are prominent. Generally, prominent veins are no cause for concern, depending on what is causing them. Here we will explore what are the possible causes of why your veins are so visible.

Pale Skin

This is primarily a matter of genetics and there's not much you can do about it. If your skin is particularly pale, your veins are more likely to show through the skin; obviously darker skin would sort of "mask" the veins.

Many factors could contribute to more visible veins, such as pale skin and age.
Many factors could contribute to more visible veins, such as pale skin and age.
By Colin Davis from Chicago, United States. (Veins in my Right Arm.) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], ...

Age

As we get older, our skin begins to thin. This process usually starts around middle age. Of course, as the skin thins, the veins are liable to become more pronounced on your body parts.

Exercise can cause your body to show your veins more prominently
Exercise can cause your body to show your veins more prominently

Fat Loss

Basically, fat can hide those veins. When you lose weight, your veins might begin to show; if you have put on muscle, the muscles could push the veins to the surface too.

Medications

Certain prescription drugs, like steroids, cause thinning of the skin and will reveal the veins under the skin.

Exercise

When you exercise, your body needs more oxygen, so blood flow increases to, for instance, your arms; this will make the veins bulge.

Medications, such as steroids, will make your skin thinner and cause veins to show
Medications, such as steroids, will make your skin thinner and cause veins to show

Pregnancy

The body needs more blood, and your heart rate increases, during pregnancy, due to the demands of carrying the baby. This can cause veins to be more pronounced.

Position and Pressure

The position you are in, standing or lying down, causes blood to flow more into certain areas of the body and make the veins stand out. Pressure too can make veins stand out, like if you laugh very hard or strain to lift something.

Varicose Veins

Basically, when blood cannot flow normally, it can get stuck in certain areas, typically low in the legs. This creates varicose veins, which are veins in the legs that are enlarged, swollen and distorted.

Vascular Disease

A much more serious possible cause for visible veins is vascular disease, such as deep vein thombosis and peripheral vascular disease. These conditions occur when there are malfunctions in the blood and lymph vessels which obstructs blood flow.

Causes of vascular disease include:

  • Injury to blood vessels
  • Age
  • Disease, such as diabetes or hypertension
  • Genetics
  • Inactivity
  • Smoking

Symptoms of vascular disease include:

  • Heavy feeling in limbs
  • Changes, such as change in color, to skin
  • Wounds that won't heal
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain and reduced mobility
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
Sometime age or weight can cause veins to show.
Sometime age or weight can cause veins to show.

So, as you can see, causes of visible veins are rather diverse and most causes are not serious. However, sometimes prominent veins can be caused by a more serious condition and it's always advisable to consult a physician.

Updated: 07/15/2020, NateB11
 
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NateB11 on 07/28/2020

No problem, Mira! I'm glad it was helpful!

Mira on 07/27/2020

Thank you for this article. I learned a few interesting things :)

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