Bulging Veins on Feet

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Bulging Veins on Feet

Bulging veins on feet

Bulging veins on the feet can be a cause for concern and you may ask yourself whether they are normal. And what can you do to get rid of them? In this article, we will explore the causes of bulging veins on the feet, including both normal and abnormal conditions. Additionally, we will look at how to determine if treatment is necessary, and the available treatment options.

Author: Dr Ganesha Param, Phlebologist


Bulging veins on feet

Causes of Bulging Veins on Feet

Bulging veins on feet caused by time on feet

If you are an active person who spends a significant amount of time on your feet each day you may experience prominent veins on your feet. This occurrence is considered normal and results from the body’s increased blood supply requirement to the feet. As we age, the loss of subcutaneous fat in the region can also make these veins more noticeable, but they still function properly.

Worsening or spreading of existing Varicose vein condition

In some cases, bulging veins on the feet can be an extension of existing varicose veins present on the legs and ankles. When varicose veins are already present, these bulging veins may be abnormal. It is important to treat both the varicose veins and the bulging veins if this is the case. Symptoms to watch for are:

  • aching, heavy and uncomfortable legs
  • swollen feet and ankles
  • burning or throbbing in your legs
  • muscle cramp in your legs, particularly at night
  • dry, itchy and thin skin over the affected vein.

The symptoms are usually worse during warm weather or if you’ve been standing up for long periods of time. Sometimes, these symptoms may improve when you walk around or if you rest and raise your legs.

Can Exercise Cause Veins to Bulge on your feet?

Engaging in regular exercise does not directly cause veins to bulge on the feet. However, certain exercises that involve prolonged standing or intense impact on the feet, such as running or jumping, can increase blood flow to the feet and temporarily make the veins more prominent. This temporary effect should not be a cause for concern unless it is accompanied by pain or discomfort.

However, there have been some cases with intense exercise, especially weight lifting, that with the increased blood flow and building of new muscle in the feet and legs can increase the visibility of the veins on feet. As your muscles get bigger, your superficial veins become more visible under your skin. 

Weight lifting may cause bulging veins on feet

Determining the Need for Treatment for bulging veins on your feet:

In most cases, bulging veins on the feet are harmless and do not require treatment. If they are an extension of your varicose veins they may appear quite obvious but sometimes they can be hidden as well.

However, it is essential to seek medical advice if you experience the following symptoms:

Pain or Discomfort: If the bulging veins on your feet cause pain, aching, or discomfort, it is advisable to consult a vein specialist.

Changes in Appearance: Sudden changes in the size, shape, or color of the veins should be evaluated by a vein specialist. If the skim over your veins becomes sore or irritated this is another sign to see a vein specialist.

Functional Impairment: If the bulging veins affect your mobility or daily activities, medical attention is warranted. In addition, if the aching causes irritation at night and impacts on quality of sleep.

Learn more about the causes of varicose veins.

Treatment Options for Bulging Veins on Feet

If you are experiencing symptoms such as dark purple or blue prominent veins, swelling or twisting of the veins, leg pain, itching or burning, or bleeding from affected veins, it may be time to see a specialist A phlebologist or vein specialist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of venous origin, and here in Australia you can book in directly with no referral necessary.

Treatment for bulging veins on feet can vary depending on the underlying cause.

When treatment is necessary, several options are available to address bulging veins on the feet. These may include:

Compression Therapy: Wearing compression stockings or socks can improve blood circulation, reduce swelling, and alleviate discomfort associated with bulging veins.

Sclerotherapy: This non-surgical procedure involves injecting a sclerosing solution into the affected veins, causing them to shrink and eventually fade away. Learn more about sclerotherapy.

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA): EVLA utilizes laser energy to seal off the bulging veins, redirecting blood flow to healthier veins. Learn more about EVLA.

Surgical Interventions: These are often not necessary especially for veins on feet.

Preventing varicose veins on your feet

There’s little evidence to suggest you can stop varicose veins getting worse or completely stop new ones developing. But there are ways to ease symptoms of existing varicose veins, such as:

  • avoiding standing or sitting still for long periods and trying to move around every 30 minutes
  • taking regular breaks throughout the day, raising the legs
  • on pillows while resting to ease discomfort
  • exercising regularly – this can improve circulation and help maintain a healthy weight.

While bulging veins on the feet can be a normal occurrence, it is crucial to understand when they may indicate an underlying condition that requires medical attention. If you are concerned about your bulging veins, consult with a vein specialist who can assess your condition and recommend the appropriate course of action. Remember, early intervention can help prevent complications and improve your overall vascular health.

Considerations around treatment

Today’s current treatments for varicose veins are reliable and convenient. You don’t need to be put under general anaesthetic (and be asleep), can be treated as a visit to your chosen Vein expert, and depending on your condition will likely mean you only have to take it easy for one day afterwards, so likely no time off work required.

You will need to wear compression stockings however for a period of two weeks, and we generally recommend waiting 7 days before resuming your normal exercise routine.

Learn more on our FAQ’s page. 

In conclusion, bulging veins on feet can be normal for some people but may also be a sign of an underlying condition. If you are experiencing symptoms or have concerns about bulging veins on your feet, it is important to consult with a Phlebologist or Vein Expert for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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