Varicose Veins and Bulging Veins

by | Jul 25, 2023

While bulging veins can be a symptom of varicose veins, they can also occur for other reasons and may not necessarily indicate a problem with the veins’ valves or circulation. If you are concerned about bulging veins or suspect you may have varicose veins, it’s best to consult a vascular specialist like Dr. Manish Taneja for proper varicose veins assessment and treatment.

Pregnant woman resting on table wearing compression stockings for varicose veins

Understanding the Difference Between Varicose Veins and Bulging Veins

Blood vessels can swell in some people. You might notice enlarged veins and are curious about what it means. People use different terms to describe them. You may come across varicose veins and bulging veins. The two are similar, but are they the same?


What Are Varicose Veins?


Varicose veins are twisted blood vessels that become swollen. They usually form in the legs, but you may find them in other areas of the body. Around 20% of adults will have varicose veins during their lifetime.

The swollen veins are right beneath the skin and can appear reddish or bluish. Your legs and feet might feel heavy, and you might experience leg cramps. Swelling and aches are common symptoms as well.


The Two Types of Varicose Veins

They are most commonly seen in the legs. There are two types of varicose veins seen commonly seen in practice.

  1. Swollen enlarged bulging veins under the skin
  2. Spider veins that look like a fine network of red or blue lines just under the skin.


What are Bulging Veins?


Bulging veins are enlarged veins people may find on their legs, feet, ankles, or hands. They are superficial veins, meaning you can see them under the skin easily. The blood vessels have a blue or purple appearance.

Blue or purple veins may indicate the presence of dilated and malfunctioning veins. These colors are often associated with increased pressure in the veins and pooling of blood, highlighting the need for further evaluation and potential treatment for varicose veins, spider veins, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) to address the underlying venous insufficiency. Learn more about what blue or purple veins can mean. 

In many cases, bulging veins are not an issue. While some are harmless, some cases might indicate a more serious problem.


Are Varicose Veins and Bulging Veins the Same?


Like varicose veins, bulging veins look rope-like and twisted. Bulging blood vessels might be a sign you have varicose veins. However, the two are not the same. Varicose veins tend to be larger than bulging ones. Furthermore, the former is more likely to cause issues.


The Common Causes of Bulging Veins 


Bulging veins can develop for multiple reasons. Intense exercise might cause your veins to enlarge. A lack of movement, however, can also lead to bulging veins. You may notice some if you stand or sit for an extended period.

Another common cause is a hormone imbalance. The imbalance from pregnancy or menopause can place pressure on blood vessels. A person also has a higher chance of bulging veins if they have a family history of it.


Do Bulging Veins Go Away? 


Bulging veins usually do not go away on their own. Nevertheless, there are ways you can treat them. Treatments make the veins less visible and ease discomfort.


Are Bulging Veins Varicose Veins or Enlarged Veins? 


Some bulging veins indicate the presence of varicose veins. However, the two are not the same. Bulging veins are simply enlarged veins. As mentioned before, varicose veins are enlarged and twisted veins that usually appear in the legs and feet. They are a result of weakened or damaged valves within the veins, which can lead to poor blood flow and accumulation of blood. This causes the veins to bulge and become visible through the skin, often creating a bumpy, rope-like appearance. Varicose veins can be painful and may lead to other symptoms like aching, swelling, or itching in the affected area.

What do varicose veins include? Understand the symptoms of varicose veins, different types, causes, and more with our helpful blog post and video on varicose veins. It may involve several factors such as family history, hormone levels, and high blood pressure to develop varicose veins. Don’t let these blood clots last long term and become complications of varicose veins.

Prevention of Bulging Veins From Forming


One way to lower the risk of bulging veins is to exercise. Walking around and stretching improves blood flow. Blood vessels can remain strong, especially in the legs. Smoking can contribute to bulging vessels. Quitting the habit can prevent enlarged veins.

Lastly, you can prevent bulging muscles with the clothes you wear. Tight clothing can restrict blood flow to the heart. Choose something loose, especially around the waist. You might also be interested to learn about the best practices to follow on “How to Prevent Varicose Veins” on our other informative blog post. 


The Danger of Untreated Bulging Veins 


Bulging veins usually are harmless. However, you should see a doctor if the veins cause any pain. Untreated bulging veins have a chance of developing a blood clot.


When to Worry About Bulging Veins 


Discomfort is a clear sign that a bulging vein should be a concern. Other symptoms include the area feeling warm when touching it and discoloration. You should reach out to your provider if you notice swelling or bleeding.


Treatment Options for Bulging Veins


A few treatment options are simple. You can elevate your legs multiple times a day to soothe aches. Doctors also recommend compression socks to improve circulation. These socks reduce pain in the lower legs and can prevent more serious issues that may arise from bulging veins.

Some people might need sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is when the doctor injects a solution to close the vein and get it to fade. Surgery might be necessary if blood pools in the leg veins. The procedure of stripping and ligation gets rid of the affected veins.


Treat Your Bulging Veins Today


Bulging veins do not impact daily activities for many people. A person, however, should take action if an untreated bulging vein displays warning signs. Take control of your health and contact our clinic. At Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic, we provide quality care and are ready to lend our expertise.


Long Term Effects of Untreated Varicose Veins

Failing to address these veins can lead to long-lasting consequences and complications.

Am I at Risk of Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, or DVT?

The appearance of varicose and spider veins on your body is nothing of immediate concern. If there are symptoms associated with them, schedule a visit with your doctor to diagnose and treat varicose veins. Spider veins, varicose veins, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can occur on individuals with all body types, genders, and ages. Blue or purple veins may indicate the presence of dilated and malfunctioning veins. These colors are often associated with increased pressure in the veins and pooling of blood, highlighting the need for further evaluation and potential treatment for varicose veins, spider veins, or DVT to address the underlying venous insufficiency.

The following demographics may have a higher chance of experiencing them.

  • Those who are overweight (therefore, maintain a healthy weight to reduce the pressure)
  • Pregnant women
  • Females
  • Individuals between the ages of 40 and 80
  • Those who are inactive/not exercising (even sitting or standing for long periods)
  • Smoker
  • Frequent flyers
  • Those who have had surgery or leg trauma

Learn more about the long term effects of untreated varicose veins.

What are spider veins? You might also be interested to learn about “Spider Veins: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment”. Although they might be a cosmetic concern, they can also lead to serious health issues. Find out more on our blog post, “Deep Vein Thrombosis: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment” if you’d like to know the difference between DVT and varicose veins

Consult a Vascular Specialist for Your Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Dr. Manish Taneja, a certified vascular and varicose veins specialist in Singapore, has extensive experience in the treatment of all vascular interventions and looks after venous diseases like varicose veins, spider veins, and reticular veins. Come in for a further evaluation and reach out to us today to arrange your varicose veins appointment. 


Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

Varicose Veins Resources

Explore our varicose veins and spider veins resources for patients. Gain insight into the diagnosis and treatment of varicose and spider veins conditions, their underlying causes, symptoms, and complications. Connect with your vascular health.

Keep Varicose Veins and Spider Veins at Bay

If your legs feel sore persistently, achy when standing long periods, or maybe you notice blue or purple veins even bulging in the area, chances are these symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins could lead to other serious venous diseases such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), or Leg Swelling due to increased pressure forming larger blood clots over time. Varicose veins are fully treatable with minimally invasive procedures and treatments offering minimal downtime and quick recovery preventing further complications. Long term effects of untreated varicose veins can hinder your daily life and impact your health.

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singapore is here to diagnose and treat varicose veins smoothening patients’ experience to find relief and comfort. As a vascular and interventional radiology specialist based in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja looks after a spectrum of venous diseases, peripheral vascular malformations, and peripheral arterial disease. Dr. Manish Taneja also has extensive experience in performing all vascular interventions, non-vascular interventions and interventional oncology procedures.

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our varicose veins specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.