Causes and Treatments for Veiny Hands

Published on: February 14, 2021
Hands of people of different ages.

Do you wonder, “Why are my hands so veiny?” Many people experience changes in the appearance of their hands at various times in their life with more noticeable veins. There is a combination of factors that can cause veiny hands that look older and unattractive. Knowing the causes and treatment options for bulging veins on your hands can help you restore more youthful-appearing hands.

Why Are My Hands So Veiny?

The veins that run under the skin on the top of the hands can usually be seen in fair-skinned individuals. However, most younger adults do not have bulging veins on their hands. Youthful skin and tissue usually keep the tops of the hands smooth without exaggerated veins. There are a few different factors that can cause veiny hands, even in those who are younger.

Low Body Fat
The fat under the skin can smooth the backs of the hands. When body fat is very low, this cushion is gone, and veins may be more pronounced. Individuals that lose weight due to diet, exercise or illness may notice a change in the appearance of the veins on their hands. The veins are not necessarily larger, the fat around them has dissipated.
As you get older, your skin becomes thinner. The body begins to produce less collagen as you get older, which adds volume and impacts the elasticity of the skin. Plus, fat under the skin can dissipate with age. The combination of thinner skin and less fat can result in more prominent veins on the hands.
Vein inflammation
Veiny hands can be caused by phlebitis, or vein inflammation. Injury, autoimmune diseases or a skin infection can result in inflammation in the veins. Phlebitis can result in bulging veins that may be uncomfortable or unattractive.
Strength Training
When you exercise, your veins enlarge as your blood pressure rises. This is especially noticeable during strength training, such as lifting weights. While blood pressure goes down after exercise, many of those that participate in regular strength training may experience bulging hand veins that are permanent.
Hot Temperatures
When the temperature rises, the vein valves may not work correctly. High temperatures can result in enlarged veins that are more pronounced. Some people may experience veiny hands during the hottest days of summer.
Blood Clots
Superficial thrombophlebitis and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be caused by blood clots. Both can result in bulging veins which may appear in the hands. Pronounced veins on the hands that occurs suddenly can be a symptom of a serious blood clot that requires medical attention.
Varicose Veins
While most varicose veins occur in the legs, they can appear on the hands. Varicose veins are caused by malfunctioning valves in the veins that restrict the backflow of blood, creating enlarged or pronounced veins. Varicose veins in the hands can appear to bulge and may be twisted and painful.
If your parents or other close family members have veiny hands, you are more likely to experience this condition. Veiny hands can be caused by genetic factors.

Cosmetic treatments for vainy hands.

Treatments for Veiny Hands

The treatment for bulging veins on the hands depends on what is causing the condition and the desired results of the patient. If pronounced veins on the hands are caused by a medical condition like phlebitis, DVT or superficial thrombophlebitis, medication or therapy may be required. In many cases, veiny hands do not pose a health risk but are an aesthetic concern. For cosmetic treatment of veiny hands, the following treatments may be effective:

  • Laser therapy. Laser skin treatments can be used to remove smaller pronounced veins. Spider or small varicose veins may respond well to laser treatments that target the veins to close and remove attractive veins.
  • Sclerotherapy. Injection of saline or other substances into bulging veins can cause scar tissue that closes the veins.
  • Surgery. For severe bulging veins, surgery can be used to remove unwanted veins. Vein stripping and litigation is performed under anesthesia, removing the vein through a surgical incision. Ambulatory phlebectomy also uses small incisions to remove targeted veins.
  • Cosmetic injections. To hide pronounced veins, cosmetic injections can be used. Dermal filler injections can be used to add volume under the skin in the hands for veiny hand treatment. The results can last several months, creating smoother, more youthful hands.

If you still wonder, “Why are my hands so veiny?” visit your primary care physician or a vascular specialist to discuss the cause and treatment options. A doctor can determine if there are any underlying health conditions that are causing your pronounced veins or if it is solely a cosmetic issue. Treating underlying health conditions can minimize the appearance of bulging veins and prevent any health risk. For genetic or aging causes, bulging veins can be removed or hidden with aesthetic treatments for more attractive, youthful-appearing hands.

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