Why Do Leg Veins Pop Out?

There are many reasons why the veins in your legs may seem to ‘pop out’. You’re more likely to notice it when the veins are closer to the skin. Large, twisting, bulging veins are called varicose veins and indicate an underlying valve problem. Vein valves are flaps inside your veins that help prevent your blood from flowing backward. When you have blood flowing backward, it pools inside your veins, and causes varicose veins.

5 causes for bulging veins

Bulging leg veins are often a symptom of an underlying medical condition. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you have a sudden bulging of your veins along with a shortness of breath, chest pains or ulcers near the veins. Common causes of bulging veins include:

  • Varicose veins
    Ropy, bulging, enlarged veins caused by weakened vein valves, most common in the legs and feet.
  • Venous insufficiency
    Improper functioning of the vein valves in the leg, which may cause swelling and skin discoloration.
  • Pregnancy
    Additional weight on your pelvis decreases the rate at which blood flows to the legs and feet, contributing to varicose veins.
  • Older age
    Varicose veins are more common in older adults due to a lifetime of wear and tear on the valves.
  • Thrombophlebitis
    A blood clot in the vein that causes pain, inflammation and swelling.

There is one situation in which having your leg veins pop out is not a reason for concern. Leg veins may also pop out during or after exertion (e.g., exercising or weight lifting). During, or shortly after exercising, your muscles are contracting and pushing down on your veins. However, your body and muscles are also demanding more oxygen-rich blood. This causes your veins to dilate (expand) in order to allow an increased flow of blood to the areas that are experiencing the exertion. If you experience temporary bulging as a result of exertion, it is normal—and is actually a good sign. Carry on!

Carolina Vein Specialists are skilled in the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins. For experienced vein care, call our vein clinic in Greensboro and Winston-Salem at 336-218-8346.