Visible veins, most commonly broken capillaries, are small blood vessels that have become dilated and visible, often appearing as red or purple lines on the skin.
How do visible veins form?
Veins form due to interrupted blood circulation processes, which can cause weak veins. This weakness can lead to some blood leaking back through the veins and causing a build-up of pressure, which causes the vein to grow.
What are the different forms of veins?
Veins are blood vessels that carry blood back to the heart. They form when capillaries, the smallest blood vessels, merge together. Veins come in different forms, including visible veins on the skin’s surface, such as cherry angiomas, broken capillaries, and spider naevi. These small, thin blood vessels are visible through the skin but do not bulge underneath the surface
What causes visible veins?
Broken capillaries can appear for no apparent reason, but certain factors are linked to their development:
Your genetics can affect your disposition to weaker veins, leading to them becoming broken more easily.
Hormonal changes, such as those caused by progesterone and estrogen, can make your veins dilate. This process pulls at the valves and allows blood to flow in the wrong direction, which weakens the vein.
Drinking alcohol can cause an increased heart rate, which pumps blood more quickly. This sudden influx of blood places greater strain on your veins. It also occupies your liver, which filters and detoxifies blood.
Trauma to the skin
Trauma to the skin can weaken veins over time or, depending on the intensity, can cause blood vessels to burst.
Overexposure to the sun can break down collagen in your skin and weaken blood vessels, making your skin less elastic and tissues weaker, thus making it easier for visible veins to emerge.
Rosacea can cause persistant blushing or flushing, which puts excessive strain on blood vessels and weakens them over time.
Cherry angiomas causes are not entirely clear but are linked to the following factors:
Older cells become prone to signaling mistakes and sometimes overgrow, leading to cherry angiomas.
Hormonal changes taking place during pregnancy can also lead to known risk factors for cherry angiomas.
Exposure to chemicals
Exposure to certain chemicals can also increase the risk of developing cherry angiomas. It is important to protect your skin from chemicals that can cause harm, including those found in pesticides, herbicides, and other toxins.
Spider angiomas can develop due to several factors:
Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy and in people with liver disease, can increase the levels of estrogen in the body, making individuals more prone to developing spider angiomas.
Ageing causes the valves in your blood vessels to weaken, making the skin more susceptible to spider angiomas.
Weight gain can make it harder for valves to keep blood flowing through your veins, increasing your risk of spider angiomas
Staying immobile for extended periods affect your circulation and puts a strain on your blood vessel valves, making them more prone to developing spider angiomas.
Are visible veins
Visible veins on the skin’s surface are typically harmless and do not pose any medical concerns. However, they can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as rosacea, which may benefit from treatment. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with a professional if you have concerns or experience any symptoms related to visible veins.
Where can you get
Visible veins can develop anywhere on the body, but they are more common in certain areas such as the legs, face, hands, and upper body. The visibility of veins is influenced by several factors, including the thickness and colour of the skin, and the amount of subcutaneous fat.
What can you do to prevent the formation of visible veins?
Visible veins can be caused by several factors, such as genetics, age, hormonal changes, trauma to the skin, and overexposure to the sun. While some of these factors may be out of our control, there are several things you can do to help minimise the formation of visible veins.
Regular exercise can help improve blood circulation and strengthen your blood vessel walls.
Maintain a healthy weight
Excess weight can put extra pressure on your veins, leading to the formation of visible veins.
Limit alcohol consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption can affect blood circulation and put a strain on your veins.
Protect your skin health
Protect your skin from trauma, such as cuts or bruises, which can weaken blood vessels and lead to visible veins.
Wear compression stockings
Compression stockings can help improve blood flow and reduce the risk of developing visible veins, especially in the legs.
Wear sun protection
Overexposure to the sun can cause collagen breakdown and weaken blood vessels, making it easier for visible veins to emerge. Therefore, it is important to wear sun protection, such as sunscreen and protective clotihng, when spending time outdoors.
Manage and control your rosacea
Rosacea is a skin condition that can cause persistent flushing or blushing, putting excessive strain on blood vessels and weakening them over time. Proper management and treatment of rosacea can help minimise the risk of developing visible veins.
What professional treatments
treat visible veins?
Laser treatments can be an effective way to improve the appearance of visible veins like spider veins. In addition to reducing the appearance of existing visible veins, laser treatments can also improve the overall health of your skin by strengthening it and making it more resilient. This can potentially minimise the formation of new visible veins. However, it’s important to note that laser treatments do not address the underlying causes of visible veins, such as genetics, hormonal changes, and lifestyle factors. Therefore, it’s possible for new visible veins to develop even after laser treatment. To effectively prevent the formation of new visible veins, it’s important to address the underlying causes alongside professional treatment.