The veins on my legs bulge throughout the day, could it be an early sign of varicose veins?

I am noticing some blue reticular veins on my legs over the past couple years. They are beginning to seem more noticeable to me. They are light blue- not dark blue/purple. More recently, I have a few straight veins (not Ropey not twisted) that run diagonal on my legs that bulge slightly but only sometimes throughout the day... Every day, but not all day. I can't connect the bulging to any particular event. I workout daily and am of ideal weight. Does this signal varicose veins are coming?

Answers from doctors (16)


More About Doctor Vein Treatment Clinic

Published on Apr 06, 2020

An initial evaluation and ultrasound for venous reflux is recommended. Please see a vein specialist board-certified in Venous and Lymphatic Medicine.

All the best.

Answered by Vein Treatment Clinic (View Profile)

An initial evaluation and ultrasound for venous reflux is recommended. Please see a vein specialist board-certified in Venous and Lymphatic Medicine.

All the best.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vein Center of Orange County

Published on Jun 09, 2015

Linear, flat, blue-green veins are called "reticular veins." We all have them. They become larger and more noticeable with exercise, in hotter weather, and during menses. However, reticular veins that zig-zag or become tortuous or bulge noticeably may be early varicose veins. A brief office visit to a qualified vein expert can easily and quickly determine whether your reticular veins are normal or abnormal. If you exercise vigorously (jog, bicycle, lift weights, exercise machines) you will develop larger reticular veins that are normal. I hope this helps.

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Answered by Vein Center of Orange County

Linear, flat, blue-green veins are called "reticular veins." We all have them. They become larger and more noticeable with exercise, in hotter weather, and during menses. However, reticular veins that zig-zag or become tortuous or bulge noticeably may be early varicose veins. A brief office visit to a qualified vein expert can easily and quickly determine whether your reticular veins are normal or abnormal. If you exercise vigorously (jog, bicycle, lift weights, exercise machines) you will develop larger reticular veins that are normal. I hope this helps.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vein Center of New Mexico

Published on May 31, 2015

In all likelihood you have early varicose vein disease but this is not certain.An ultrasound test at a vein specialist's office would resolve the question.
The fact that you don't have pain or swelling certainly would indicate early
involvement.

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Answered by Vein Center of New Mexico

In all likelihood you have early varicose vein disease but this is not certain.An ultrasound test at a vein specialist's office would resolve the question.
The fact that you don't have pain or swelling certainly would indicate early
involvement.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Coastal Vein Institute

Published on May 29, 2015

Many people, who are otherwise healthy and active can develop superficial veins that are prominent but not dangerous. This does not necessarily mean the individual will later develop varicose veins. Likewise, these veins do not necessarily become varicose veins later. This may be a normal variation of healthy anatomy - with the veins closer to the surface than we normally see. continue to lead a healthy and active lifestyle and watch for the development of large, ropey, or painful veins which would be classified as unhealthy varicose veins.

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Answered by Coastal Vein Institute

Many people, who are otherwise healthy and active can develop superficial veins that are prominent but not dangerous. This does not necessarily mean the individual will later develop varicose veins. Likewise, these veins do not necessarily become varicose veins later. This may be a normal variation of healthy anatomy - with the veins closer to the surface than we normally see. continue to lead a healthy and active lifestyle and watch for the development of large, ropey, or painful veins which would be classified as unhealthy varicose veins.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Artery and Vein Specialists of Idaho

Published on May 28, 2015

These findings can definitely be an early sign of venous disease. Wearing medical grade 20 to 30 mmHg compression stockings will help slow down your process. However you should see a vein specialist for work up.

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Answered by Artery and Vein Specialists of Idaho

These findings can definitely be an early sign of venous disease. Wearing medical grade 20 to 30 mmHg compression stockings will help slow down your process. However you should see a vein specialist for work up.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Destin Vein Center

Published on May 28, 2015

Not necessarily; those reticular veins are very common and it's possible that you'll never have varicose veins.

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Answered by Destin Vein Center

Not necessarily; those reticular veins are very common and it's possible that you'll never have varicose veins.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


NE Laser Vein Institute LLC

Published on May 28, 2015

An accurate diagnosis cannot be made without an ultra sound. Please consult a vascular doctor or a vein doctor.

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Answered by NE Laser Vein Institute LLC

An accurate diagnosis cannot be made without an ultra sound. Please consult a vascular doctor or a vein doctor.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


More About Doctor Vein Center for Women PC

Published on May 28, 2015

Unfortunately, varicose veins do not discriminate in the fact that it does NOT occur in thin- healthy people. It plagues men and women alike of ALL Shapes and sizes. There are other factors that contribute to having reticular veins, (larger than a spider vein but not large enough to be considered varicose-usually blue in color) spider veins and varicose as well. Having a strong family history, your occupation, (sitting or standing for long periods of time) and pregnancies can all contribute to these issues. My advice would be to have a venous ultrasound done to check for beginning stages of reflux and vein incompetence. The doctor may also recommend wearing compression hose as well. These work well to keep any symptoms at bay, they even have sport type compression hose for people who are very active and exercise a lot.

Answered by Vein Center for Women PC (View Profile)

Unfortunately, varicose veins do not discriminate in the fact that it does NOT occur in thin- healthy people. It plagues men and women alike of ALL Shapes and sizes. There are other factors that contribute to having reticular veins, (larger than a spider vein but not large enough to be considered varicose-usually blue in color) spider veins and varicose as well. Having a strong family history, your occupation, (sitting or standing for long periods of time) and pregnancies can all contribute to these issues. My advice would be to have a venous ultrasound done to check for beginning stages of reflux and vein incompetence. The doctor may also recommend wearing compression hose as well. These work well to keep any symptoms at bay, they even have sport type compression hose for people who are very active and exercise a lot.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


The blue veins which are beginning to bulge could be a sign of venous reflux or venous insufficiency though as you said they are not "varicose" yet. If you are experiencing any symptoms of venous insufficiency such as heavy and tired legs or ankle swelling off and on, it may be a good idea to see a vein specialist for opinion and a Doppler scan to exclude underlying venous disease.

Answered by Premier Vein and Vascular Center (View Profile)

The blue veins which are beginning to bulge could be a sign of venous reflux or venous insufficiency though as you said they are not "varicose" yet. If you are experiencing any symptoms of venous insufficiency such as heavy and tired legs or ankle swelling off and on, it may be a good idea to see a vein specialist for opinion and a Doppler scan to exclude underlying venous disease.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vein Specialists of Arizona

Published on May 28, 2015

To start with I need to ask do your legs bother you in any way- pain, ache, swelling, restless legs, burning, etc? I suggest you obtain a venous ultrasound of your legs both laying down and standing upright. Graduated compression hose of 20-30mmHg after proper measurement of your legs are done (sizing) may make your legs feel better. The ultrasound is the only way to determine do you have a problem, where does it start, and how severe is it at this stage. That all determines how to treat it.

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Answered by Vein Specialists of Arizona

To start with I need to ask do your legs bother you in any way- pain, ache, swelling, restless legs, burning, etc? I suggest you obtain a venous ultrasound of your legs both laying down and standing upright. Graduated compression hose of 20-30mmHg after proper measurement of your legs are done (sizing) may make your legs feel better. The ultrasound is the only way to determine do you have a problem, where does it start, and how severe is it at this stage. That all determines how to treat it.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vein Specialties of St. Louis

Published on May 28, 2015

These may be completely normal veins. If you are very fair skinned, they can show more. People who are in very good physical condition may also notice more prominent veins which is normal. In the absence of symptoms such as heavy, achy, painful, crampy legs, further evaluation should not be necessary. If you have a strong family history of varicose veins, you could seek an evaluation with a board certified surgeon who specializes in treating varicose veins. If the underlying saphenous and deep veins are normal, no further treatment would be necessary.

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Answered by Vein Specialties of St. Louis

These may be completely normal veins. If you are very fair skinned, they can show more. People who are in very good physical condition may also notice more prominent veins which is normal. In the absence of symptoms such as heavy, achy, painful, crampy legs, further evaluation should not be necessary. If you have a strong family history of varicose veins, you could seek an evaluation with a board certified surgeon who specializes in treating varicose veins. If the underlying saphenous and deep veins are normal, no further treatment would be necessary.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Cosmetic Vein Centers of Texas

Published on May 28, 2015

Perhaps but it is easy to check with a vein ultrasound study.

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Answered by Cosmetic Vein Centers of Texas

Perhaps but it is easy to check with a vein ultrasound study.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


General Vascular Surgery Group

Published on May 28, 2015

Possibly, but sometimes thin patients may just have more visible veins.

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Answered by General Vascular Surgery Group

Possibly, but sometimes thin patients may just have more visible veins.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Advanced Surgical Arts

Published on May 28, 2015

There are a couple of possibilities for you to consider. The veins you describe may be a very early harbinger of varicose veins, but at this stage, I think the risk of you developing full blown varicose veins is low. A strong family history and a standing job will increase the risk, but it is not definite. If you work out daily, and depending on the stress of exercise, these may be normal veins to increase blood return. I would recommend wearing compression hoses for work out and during the day to decrease the risk of developing varicose veins.

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Answered by Advanced Surgical Arts

There are a couple of possibilities for you to consider. The veins you describe may be a very early harbinger of varicose veins, but at this stage, I think the risk of you developing full blown varicose veins is low. A strong family history and a standing job will increase the risk, but it is not definite. If you work out daily, and depending on the stress of exercise, these may be normal veins to increase blood return. I would recommend wearing compression hoses for work out and during the day to decrease the risk of developing varicose veins.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Veins are more visible as they enlarge, are more superficial, in thinner people, and/or more light skin individuals.



Answered by Vascular Center and Vein Clinic of Southern Indiana (View Profile)

Veins are more visible as they enlarge, are more superficial, in thinner people, and/or more light skin individuals.



Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vanish Vein and Laser Center

Published on May 28, 2015

Reticular veins are not varicose veins and may never lead to varicose veins. You should see a vein specialist for a full venous evaluation with a venous ultrasound. In thin and fair skinned people reticular veins are more easily seen.

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Answered by Vanish Vein and Laser Center

Reticular veins are not varicose veins and may never lead to varicose veins. You should see a vein specialist for a full venous evaluation with a venous ultrasound. In thin and fair skinned people reticular veins are more easily seen.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


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