Bulging veins (aka veins that ‘pop out’) are a fairly common occurrence. You might notice a few on your legs, arms, or hands. If you do, don’t panic. A lot of the time, bulging veins are nothing to be concerned about. The best thing to do if you notice a concerning-looking vein is to consult with your primary provider or a vein clinic.

Why Do Veins Pop Out?

Here are a few of the most common reasons for bulging veins.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are large twisted veins that can be seen bulging from the surface of the skin. These veins typically form when a valve malfunctions and is no longer able to push blood along. As the blood has a harder time circulating through the vein, it stagnates and begins pooling. The blood straining against vein walls causes the bulging, twisted appearance we recognize in a varicose vein. 

Some common risk factors for varicose veins are as such:

  • Gender (women are more likely to develop varicose and spider veins).
  • Age (older people are more prone to developing venous conditions).
  • Pregnancy (the additional weight and blood pressure that women experience during their pregnancy increase their risk for developing varicose veins).
  • Genetics (some people are naturally more predisposed to vein conditions).


Sclerotherapy – This is one of the most accessible options for treating venous conditions and consists of a simple in-office procedure. Most sclerotherapy treatments can be administered in under an hour and require little to no recovery time.

During the procedure, your vein specialist will start by prepping the affected area. After that, they will inject a solution into the varicose veins. The solution’s role is to irritate the walls of the damaged vein, causing it to stick together and seal up. Following this procedure, the sealed-up veins will simply be reabsorbed back into the body over time, and blood will reroute to a healthier vein.

Venous Ablation – Similar in function to sclerotherapy, this treatment option is also straightforward and fast to implement. The main difference between the two is that venous ablation uses RF (radiofrequency) to seal up a vein instead of a liquid solution.

Microphlebectomy – This procedure differs slightly from sclerotherapy and venous ablation, although it is similarly low-risk and requires very little recovery time. During a microphlebectomy, your doctor makes small incisions near the damaged veins. Following that, those veins are hooked and pulled out. As a result, the blood that was using those veins previously reroutes to a healthier vein.

Intense Exercise

bulging veins from exercise

During intense exercise, your body will naturally work harder to pump blood. As a result, you may experience temporary bulging of the veins during intense exercise. This is a perfectly normal response and does not indicate that there is anything wrong with your body. Nevertheless, people with high blood pressure should consult their doctor before engaging in intense activities such as weight lifting.

You might also notice that veins can remain enlarged even after you’ve finished exercising. That is because muscle mass generally helps make veins more prominent.

Low Body-Fat

As we mentioned above, higher muscle percentages do make veins more noticeable. Body fat contributes to this as well. In general, the lower your body fat percentage and the more muscle you have, the higher the chance of your veins popping out.

If you’re concerned about whether or not your body fat percentage is in a healthy range, always feel free to reach out to your primary medical provider. Your doctor can take a look at your veins and tell you whether or not what you’re experiencing is normal. Additionally, they will most likely be able to give you tips on nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight.

Thin Skin/Loss Of Elasticity

Have you ever noticed that older people tend to have prominent veins on their hands that look like they’re popping out? This is because of skin elasticity. As you age, your skin begins to thin out and lose elasticity as your body’s collagen and elastin production slow down.

This breakdown of the skin often creates an effect where veins can be more easily seen protruding through the skin.

Consult with your doctor if you’re interested in taking steps to halt thinning of your skin around the hand area. Changes in diet and nutrition, as well as some topical creams, may be helpful. You can also ask your doctor about aesthetic treatments such as microneedling or dermal filler for the hands.

Frequently Asked Vein Questions

frequently asked questions about veins

See below for some frequently asked questions.

Why Are Veins Blue?

Blood is red, and the veins themselves are mostly colorless. So why are veins blue? That’s a great question.

In short, the answer mostly has to do with light wavelengths. Red light can penetrate tissue, mostly going unseen by the naked eye. Blue light, on the other hand, is reflected back to our eyes, allowing us to see it. The result is that veins often appear “blue.”

How To Get Rid Of Varicose Veins?

As we mentioned above, a variety of minimally-invasive procedures can reduce the appearance of varicose and spider veins. Sclerotherapy, venous ablation, and microphlebectomy are all great treatment options that require little to no recovery time.

There are also a few at-home options for covering up and managing varicose veins. For example, your vein specialist may be able to recommend a compression stocking or sock to help manage your condition.

Tanning lotion and concealer are also great options for covering up varicose veins for short periods. Keep in mind, however, that actual sun tanning can be irritating to your veins due to the heat and is generally not recommended as a treatment option.

Are Varicose Veins Dangerous?

Generally speaking, most varicose veins are not dangerous. Nevertheless, varicose veins can occasionally have complications or be a sign of a different underlying vein condition.

If you notice any pain, discoloration, or swelling of the leg, please consult with a doctor or vein specialist as soon as possible. They’ll be able to assess your condition and recommend the next steps to take.

Related: Are Varicose Veins Dangerous to My Health?

Are Varicose Veins Painful?

Varicose veins are not typically “painful,” although they can be somewhat uncomfortable. Many patients complain of general discomfort, itching, or a feeling of heaviness in the legs due to varicose veins.

Please note that if you experience sudden pain or any other unusual symptoms, you should consult with a medical professional as soon as possible.

How Many Veins Are In The Human Body?

The human body contains about 60,000 miles of blood vessels. This count includes veins, arteries, and capillaries. Each type of blood vessel has a different, but equally important role. For example, while veins are responsible for carrying blood back up to your heart, arteries carry blood away from the heart to distribute to the tissue around your body.

Vein Specialist Flint, MI

Are you concerned about the appearance of your veins? If so, don’t hesitate to reach out. Here at VeinSolutions™, we actually offer FREE vein screenings. This means that you can come in to be evaluated by a medical professional at no cost. Following the vein screening, one of our vein specialists will talk you through your diagnosis and recommend some treatment options.

VeinSolutions™ is proud to be a cornerstone of the medical community in Michigan. Ever since opening in 2003, we’ve strived to provide top-notch medical care to everyone that walks through our doors. Our staff are all highly trained in their field and offer some of the best vein care in the state. So don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a vein-related concern; we’ve got your back. We’ll even go the extra mile to work with your insurance company to get as much of your applicable procedures covered as possible.

To contact us, simply call or fill out our online form, and someone from our team will be in touch as soon as possible. Also, please feel free to check out our patient resources. We offer a great FAQs page, as well as a list of comprehensive videos explaining the various procedures that our clinic offers.

Request A Consultation

Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.

Give Us A Call:
(810) 232-3363

Give Us A Call:
(810) 232-3363