Why Do I Have Bulging Blue Veins on My Leg?


One particular patient story really sticks out in my mind. She was a 38-year-old woman, married with a family, trim and fit, who came to me with leg aching and a cluster of large bulging veins on her thigh.  I asked her what she really wanted to get out of her vein treatments.  She paused and then told me that what she really wanted was to be able to go on a summer river float trip without having to wear blue jeans because she was so embarrassed about her legs.

She then told me that when she was a senior in high school she first noticed bulging veins on her legs and she was teased so much in gym class that she finally came home and took all of her shorts and dresses and put them in a pile in the back yard and burned them. When I met her, it had been twenty years since she had worn shorts or a dress. After vein treatments and the elimination of the unsightly veins, she went on her first float trip in a bathing suit!  She was ecstatic!

The freedom of shorts and skirts is one of the great pleasures of being alive and always brings you back to the time when you were young and carefree. The truth is, most people with visible and unsightly veins often avoid showing their legs and wearing shorts, bathing suits, or skirts in the summer because they are ashamed of the appearance of their legs. I see this all the time, and it is not because they want to look like a model. People look down at their legs and know that they don’t look normal and wish that they could just blend in like their friends.

see before and after photos with Missouri Vein Care patients

However, if you have prominent spider veins, varicose veins, or blue veins on your legs, you may feel self-conscious about exposing them and even avoid typical activities like swimming or wearing shorts. Many don’t realize that those visible and blue leg veins are, in fact, a treatable condition – one you don’t have to live with.


Help is Here for Your Vein Issues

As a healthcare provider with Missouri Vein Care, I’m here to tell you that there is a better solution than just wearing pants all summer. Common symptoms of visible blue or spider veins include burning, stinging, itching, aching, and pain in the areas of the veins. Skin changes with red or brown discoloration are one of the end results of a long-standing untreated vein condition.

One surprising result of vein treatments for visible veins is that 80% of people report that their legs feel better than ever after vein treatments which reflects the common observation that vein symptoms are often unrecognized. Let’s look at solutions to getting rid of those unsightly veins, and why they occur so that you can feel confident in how your legs look and feel. 

What Causes Blue Veins?

Blue veins are a legitimate medical condition caused by abnormalities in veins called vein reflux. They can appear anywhere on the leg, but they tend to show up more commonly around the knee and thigh areas. Blue veins are larger than spider veins, but not quite as big as bulging varicose veins


All are due to vein reflux, where the valves in the veins no longer close completely and result in enlarged or bulging, visible veins under the surface of the skin. Once visible veins are present they are guaranteed to progressively enlarge and become more visible.


Not only can you see these veins on your legs staring at you, but you may also have some unrecognized symptoms which are commonly associated with the visible veins. Some of those include itching, burning, stinging, pain, and local tenderness in the area. It may become worse as the day wears on when you have been standing for long periods of time. End-of-the-day fatigue in your legs is always worse with vein problems and is a big clue that this is the cause. If your legs feel heavy or swollen, or feel better when they are elevated, chances are that vein reflux is the culprit.


Treatment Helps!

When you are ready to get some relief from your leg symptoms or unsightly veins, it is important to treat spider veins and blue veins in combination. The spider veins develop because blue veins are feeding into them which increases the pressure that leads to abnormally enlarged veins. Treating both blue veins and spider veins is the best chance of improving the entire area where the veins are. 

The treatment that I use at Missouri Vein Care is an easy one for patients to go through -  it’s called sclerotherapy. It is a treatment that is well tolerated by patients that close off the blue veins and the spider veins. We use a spray of a numbing solution to ensure comfort during treatments. Injections are done with a special light that shows the location of the veins under the skin which allows the staff to inject the vein close to the surface with a special solution causing the vein to close down and eventually fade away. Your body absorbs the blue and spider veins after treatment and they slowly disappear. It’s just that easy. 

Have questions about vein symptoms? Learn more

A Simple Procedure That Works

Treatment of blue or spider veins is a simple in-office procedure with minimal downtime. You can go back to work or your regular activities the same day. What’s more, vein treatments are covered by most insurance companies if they are associated with symptoms.  Treatments help relieve symptoms and improve appearance so people can feel and look normal again.

When you are ready to take the step to improve the look and feel of the blue or spider veins on your legs, start with a simple free vein screening to determine what can be done to help and if vein reflux is present. You can do this in our clinic in person or via video screening.  Our staff can also let you know if your symptoms may qualify for insurance coverage.

Then, when your treatments are complete…celebrate and liberate yourself by breaking out those shorts, skirts, or even a swimsuit. You deserve to enjoy life to the fullest!


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