Have you noticed bulging veins on your hands? If so, you may want to cover your hands with gloves or feel as if you are old. The good news is that these bulging veins are perfectly fine and don’t typically indicate a significant health issue. There are situations, however, where they may be due to a serious vascular disease that requires treatment by a medical professional.
What Causes Bulging Veins in Hands?
There are numerous causes of bulging veins and you may be affected by one or more of them.
- Genetics: Genetics has a strong influence on this condition and those with immediate family members who have popping veins are more likely to experience the same thing, particularly in extremities.
- Hot Weather: Heat can also make your veins seem more prominent as it causes them to enlarge. The heat makes it harder for vein valves to function correctly, which is why you will notice your veins more prominent on warm days.
- Aging: As you age, your veins lose their elasticity and the valves within them get weak. This means that blood stays in your veins for longer time and this pooling of blood enlarges the veins, making them bulge. Aging is also related to thinner skin, making veins more apparent.
- Inadequate Body Fat: Losing body fat and a general weight loss can also make your veins become more prominent on the surface of your skin. This is true whether the weight loss is from disease or your efforts.
- Exercises: Bulging veins in hands are common among those who do a lot of strength training exercises, particularly those who lift weights or do similar movements at work. This type of weight lifting causes the blood flow to increase and the muscles to harden, leading to the prominent veins.
- Hormone Imbalance: Sometimes bulging veins is associated with a hormone imbalance such as during pregnancy or menopause. Pregnant women may notice enlarged veins in their legs as the uterus applies pressure on their pelvic veins.
- Varicose Veins: This is when your valves become weak, leading to blood pooling. In some situations, the veins may even burst suddenly, causing bleeding from a vein.
- Phlebitis: It is a vein inflammation due to a hand infection, and can also cause swollen veins. Thrombophlebitis, a type of it, is common following receiving IVs.
When to See a Doctor
When paired with other symptoms, bulging veins may indicate a serious issue that requires emergency care. The dangerous symptoms include:
- Bleeding from an injury to a vein
- Feeling of pain or pulling
- Warmth, swelling, or redness
- Skin changing color and thickening
- Skin ulcers or sores
How to Treat Bulging Veins in Hands
Because there are so many possible causes of bulging veins in the hands, the treatment will depend on the cause in the particular situation. Consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. In all situations, eating healthy foods rich in minerals and vitamins can help as they will help your veins and skin maintain their elasticity.
- In cases of genetics, you will not be able to treat the bulging veins without a procedure like laser treatment.
- In the case of bulging due to exercise, the popped veins should become normal naturally without treatment.
- For phlebitis, you will need anti-inflammatory treatment or antibiotics for the infection. When thrombophlebitis affects a vein directly under your skin, your doctor may suggest elevating your affected limb, applying heat, or using an over-the-counter NSAID.
Bulging Veins Due to Varicosity
Bulging veins due to varicosity requires medical attention so the problem doesn’t get worse and you don’t experience other symptoms. Your doctor may suggest the following remedies.
- Laser therapy relies on amplified light or radio waves to close veins and is typically used for smaller varicose veins.
- Sclerotherapy is another option and involves injecting a chemical solution into affected veins, causing them to close. Blood in those veins is rerouted automatically through veins nearby.
- Ambulatory phlebectomy involves using local anesthesia and removing affected veins via tiny incisions within the skin.
- Vein ligation also needs local anesthesia and involves closing the main vein that supplies the affected vein. An incision is made on the skin to identify the affected vein so it can be tied off.
Hand Exercises to Relieve the Hand Veins
In addition to the above treatments for bulging veins in hands, hand exercises can help as well. They will pump the muscles and the veins, encouraging blood flow and draining accumulated blood. Stretching fingers and wrists in particular can improve circulation and reduce stiffness. Just be sure to never force the movements.
Finger and Hand Stretches
- Start by bending your fingers on one hand back, one at a time, then doing so all at once.
- Do the same stretches on your other hand.
- Follow up by bending your thumb gently forward then back, as this stretches the inside of the wrist and hand.
- Alternatively, you can stretch your fingers as far as possible; then create a fist as tight as possible.
- To stretch your inner wrists, put your hands together in a prayer position.
- Raise your elbows to your sides, letting your wrists drop towards the navel.
You should also keep a general fitness level to help with overall circulation and consider massaging your hands regularly during the day.