Yes, You Should Be Concerned
Have you noticed some dark veins on your legs, arms, or face that you hadn’t noticed before? It’s not uncommon to be able to see blue veins deep under the skin, but perhaps, your veins have become raised and darker in color. Over time you may have also noticed some other symptoms like heaviness or swelling in your legs or pain around the veins. While these symptoms may just be aesthetically unappealing or uncomfortable, they can also point to underlying health conditions that need to be treated.
What Exactly Are Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?
Varicose veins are very common, especially in women. Typically, they have a red or bluish-purple color and appear swollen and raised.
Spider veins are a web of veins red or blue/purple in color that typically spread across your legs or face close to the skin.
What Does it Mean When Your Veins Are Dark?
Sometimes a vein can get dilated, stretched, or swollen with blood, which will make it appear more prominent than usual. There are a variety of reasons that this may happen. Many of these reasons stem from regular life changes or other benign factors. Some, however, might point toward an underlying issue that requires a visit with your doctor.
What Are the Symptoms of Dark Veins?
Symptoms of dark veins can include:
- Veins look twisted or tangled
- Bleeding veins
- Veins that change color
- Hardening of veins
- Pain in the legs
- Burning legs or itchy legs
- Inflammation and swelling of legs around the veins
Are Dark Veins a Sign of Underlying Health Issues?
Dark veins may be a sign of an underlying health issue. Although harmless for many, they can be a symptom of poor circulation or a sign of higher risk for varicose veins. There are three dangerous underlying conditions associated with dark veins:
- Deep vein thrombosis: When a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins in your body. It causes leg pain and swelling. It can also break loose and travel to your lungs, which can cause a pulmonary embolism.
- Pulmonary embolism (PE): A life-threatening condition that presents chest pain and shortness of breath. PE requires immediate medical attention.
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD): A common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. This reduced blood flow causes symptoms like leg pain when walking. PAD can also be a sign of the widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries, which may reduce blood flow to your heart, brain, and legs.
What Causes Dark Veins?
Let’s take a look at why we get dark veins, what causes them, and other related questions.
Are the Veins Close to the Surface of the Skin?
Veins can be apparent when they are close to the surface of the skin. For example, the veins in your legs tend to be more prominent because they are closer to the skin. These veins carry blood to the heart, which means that they are naturally blue or purple. They may only seem to be more apparent because you hadn’t noticed them before.
Why Is Blood In a Vein Blue or Purple?
When enriched with oxygen, your blood is red. Once the body parts have used up the oxygen, the blood turns blue or purple. The used-up blood travels from the body parts back to the heart through your veins.
Can You Get Dark Veins If You Have a Hormone Imbalance?
Hormonal changes that cause weight gain, such as menopause, pregnancy, or puberty, can cause prominent, dark veins. If you are taking birth control pills, you may notice veins that “hadn’t been there before.” This is due to hormonal shifts that increase blood flow and increase sweating.
Can You Get Dark Veins While Pregnant?
Not only does pregnancy bring on hormone changes, but it also increases your blood volume by 20-40%. This increases pressure on the veins and causes them to expand. Luckily, these changes are temporary and usually subside after you give birth.
Can Aging Cause Dark Veins?
Let’s face it; we’re all aging. As you age, it is normal for veins to become more evident because your skin loses elasticity and becomes thinner. Veins also become more pronounced as you naturally lose muscle and fat as part of the aging process.
What Other Factors Can Cause Dark Veins?
Before we go into when you should be concerned about dark veins and the treatment options available, let’s take a look at what other factors can cause them.
Check out this list of frequently asked questions to see which apply to your situation and what you can do to help prevent and treat dark veins.
Have You Recently Suffered an Injury Followed by a long Period of Little or No Movement?
This can cause blood to get backed up in the affected area, especially the legs. Even without an injury, lack of movement decreases circulation and brings out spider veins.
Do You Have Thin or Fair Skin?
People with fair skin or light hair are more likely to have visible veins.
Do You Drink or Smoke?
Alcohol temporarily dilates veins, which makes them more prominent. Habitual drinking can dilate veins permanently. Long-term tobacco use also causes vein problems because it sends chemicals into the bloodstream that thicken your blood and deprive it of oxygen. The thickening can cause the blood to pool, while the oxygen deprivation will turn the blood blue, causing a dark vein.
Do Your Veins Become More Visible During the Summer Months?
This is not uncommon. Not only does heat enlarge veins, but it also makes your vascular system work harder, causing veins to be more visible.
I Have Dark Veins on My Legs What Can I Do?
Dark veins showing through the skin on your legs is not uncommon and often harmless. However, if left untreated, it can cause health-related issues. If you are concerned about the veins, visit your doctor to talk through the causes and treatment options available that will put your mind to rest.
When Should You Worry About Dark Veins?
Dark or bulging veins can be a sign of vascular disease when they appear alongside burning, itching, or pain. If you have these symptoms, you should consult with your healthcare provider as these may be signs that blood is pooling.
When blue veins appear along your chest, these are usually harmless, but you should consult with your provider if you drink, smoke, have an enlarged abdomen, or live an inactive lifestyle.
If the veins are dark blue and look swollen or distorted, you may have varicose veins. Varicose veins aren’t always a cause for concern but should be checked out by your doctor to dismiss the possibility of any vascular problems.
If you have a bleeding vein or a vein warm to the touch, schedule a visit with your doctor immediately for medical advice.
Can Problems Occur If Dark Veins Are Left Untreated?
Dark veins can cause complications as they stop blood from flowing properly. Most people do not experience any difficulties with dark veins. However, if left untreated, it can cause:
Ulcers: The risk of developing venous ulcers can increase if you have varicose veins.
Bleeding: If the vein is close to the skin’s surface, it can bleed if you cut or bump your leg. In this instance, raise your leg to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding persists, seek medical attention.
Blog Clots: In some cases, these form in veins close to the surface of the skin. This can lead to thrombophlebitis, the inflammation of the veins.
How Do You Prevent Dark Veins?
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent dark veins from forming. However, you can stop existing veins from worsening by:
- Keep your body moving
- Elevate your legs
- Wear compression socks or hose
- Make exercise part of your daily routine
- Cut down on sodium and increase potassium
- Eat high fiber foods
- Lose weight
- Eat more flavonoids
- Wear loose clothing
- Gently massage the veins
How Do You Get Rid of Dark Veins?
If the sight of veins bothers you, they can be treated and removed. Whether you choose to get treatment for cosmetic reasons or have severe symptoms that affect health, you have plenty of treatment options.
There Is Hope, Dark Veins Can Be Removed!
Images are before and after vein removal treatment by Denver Vein.
Denver Vein specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with varicose veins and spider veins. Our minimally invasive techniques provide effective vein treatment in a comfortable outpatient office setting and get you back into your normal routine with minimal downtime.
Treatment Options for Dark Veins
A variety of treatment options are offered for vein removal, including:
- ELAS or endovenous laser therapy is a minimally invasive procedure involving a thin laser filament into the vein through a needle puncture in the lower leg. Laser energy is used to heat the vein from inside, causing it to close down.
- Radiofrequency Ablation is administered in the same manner as the ELAS procedure but uses RF energy rather than laser energy to heat the vein to cause the vein to shrink.
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy is performed under local anesthesia. The small incision leaves minimal or no scarring. A phlebectomy is often combined with ELAS for the best results.
- Sclerotherapy is where an FDA-approved solution is injected into the vein through a microneedle to induce an inflammatory reaction which causes the vein to seal shut, gradually shrink away and disappear.
Some treatment plans will involve combined procedures to achieve the nest results. These include endovenous laser therapy, injection sclerotherapy, or ambulatory phlebectomy. Our board-certified surgeon will recommend a personalized treatment plan during your initial consultation.
Dark Vein Treatment Facts
You may have been hesitant to have dark veins or varicose veins removed because you have heard that there are extended periods of downtime, side effects, or risk involved. This is a myth. Modern technology has now provided us with simple, effective vein treatments such as laser treatments performed in the office without significant downtime.
Here are some vein treatment facts:
- No hospitalization – done as an outpatient
- No significant downtime
- It does not require bed rest
- Minimal risk
- Men and Women can both benefit from treatment
- Professional, highly-skilled staff
- Board-certified surgeon
- Covered by insurance carriers
- Norton performs an ultrasound on the first appointment
Want to know more about vein treatment? Then read or Vein Treatment FQAs.
The following success story is proof that you can solve the cosmetic and health issues caused by veins with the help and expertise from Denver Vein.
Dark Vein Removal Success Story
“Thank you so very, very much for your generous contribution to my vein treatments. This was certainly extraordinary, and I am truly amazed and appreciative of your generosity. I am so very pleased with my results, and I love the way my leg looks. I have had these varicose veins for 15 years, and I thought that I would never be free of them. You and your staff showed such professionalism and compassion, and I thank you all so much for helping me.” –C
Have you got dark veins on your legs, arms, or face? Are you concerned that they are a sign of an underlying health issue? Or, do you just want them removed as they look unsightly?
Get Help from the Vein Removal Experts!
From diagnosis through treatment, Dr. Norton and the Denver Vein team are here for you. We will listen to your concerns, perform a full exam, and work with you to develop a plan to solve the cosmetic and health issues caused by your veins.
We have our own ultrasound, and the doctor mapping your veins for the procedure is the same doctor that performs the surgery. All services are provided under one roof, which means that you get more care with fewer appointments, less travel, and less stress!