The sight of a bulging vein immediately brings to mind the term “varicose veins.” After all, those unsightly bulges are the primary tell-tale sign of the condition caused by weakened vessels and the resulting pooling of blood in the veins. But they may also belie a much more benign condition.
Celebrities like Madonna and Meg Ryan have been photographed sporting bulging veins that critics and fans alike declare varicose veins. But a shared habit by both stars suggests those veins aren’t varicose at all. Both women are avid exercisers. And when you combine extreme weight-bearing exercise with extremely low body fat, veins can stand out more in the legs, arms, even hands.
Take a look at professional body builders, for instance. The only thing that stands out more than the size of their muscles is the look of their veins. Photos of Arnold Schwartzenegger in his prime offer prime examples of exercise-induced enlarged veins.
Aging also is a factor in both varicose and enlarged veins. As we age, we lose subcutaneous fat. This causes veins to stand out more.
Knowing the difference between varicose and enlarged veins
While enlarged veins pose no real risk, varicose veins can lead to serious health issues like skin ulcers, blood clots and excessive bleeding if untreated. If you have bulging veins and are unsure whether they’re varicose or simply enlarged, you should see a vein specialist. Jacksonville’s St. Johns Vein Center specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins, spider veins and other venous diseases and conditions.
Call them toll-free at 877-640-VEIN (8346) to schedule a consultation.