Bulging veins, particularly on your face, are often no cause for concern. They’re typically seen on the front of your forehead or on the sides of your face by your temples. While they can often be associated with age, protruding forehead veins can be a sign of pressure or stress.
Bulging forehead veins are common. If they’re accompanied with pain, however, you should consult your doctor.
What causes bulging forehead
Large forehead veins are often visible because of genetics or age. As you get older, your skin becomes thinner and may reveal the veins underneath. Age can also increase the risk of vascular issues. If you have pale skin, you may notice blue-tinged veins, too.
Veins may also be more visible if you’re of lower weight. People who are underweight or have little body fat may have tighter skin. This allows easier visibility to notice veins in your forehead, along with other parts of your body.
Here are some other reasons that may cause your forehead veins to bulge.
Pressure or strain
A good laugh can bring some visibility to your forehead veins. When you laugh, pressure increases in your chest, causing veins to expand. The same can be said about frequent sneezing, exercise, and severe vomiting.
Pregnant women experience a number of hormone changes. During pregnancy, your body produces more estrogen and progesterone, which can widen and weaken your veins. In addition, your body will increase blood flow.
This increased blood flow will enlarge your veins, and blood may begin to accumulate. This can give off the appearance of enlarged facial veins.
High blood pressure
If you notice a bulging forehead vein that’s accompanied with chest pain or other irregular symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Staying out too long in the sun or frequent sunburns can cause spider veins to bulge on your face. The sun can dilate, or enlarge, your blood vessels. This can cause them to bulge. It can also weaken the surrounding skin tissue. If you have weaker veins, sun overexposure can prevent them from shrinking back to normal size.
Spider veins may appear as blue, red, or purple in color. Other than the forehead, they’re more often seen on the cheeks and nose. This is particularly true for women with paler skin and older individuals.
Treating forehead veins
Although they’re very common, some people might not like the appearance of their facial veins. There are treatments available to reduce their visibility. In some cases, your veins may narrow on their own.
Before pursuing any treatment option, discuss the risks with your doctor and ensure there are no lingering health concerns.
Common treatments for forehead veins include:
- Electrosurgery. This minimally invasive procedure uses an electric current from a hand needle to destroy blood vessels. Though quick, this treatment can be painful.
- Sclerotherapy. Your doctor will inject the enlarged vein with a solution that causes it to shrink, close, and become reabsorbed into the body. Sclerotherapy can be a risky procedure for facial veins. Any complications could be life-threatening. Discuss your options with your doctor prior to pursuing this treatment.
- Laser surgery. This less-invasive option uses bursts of laser light to close your veins. They’ll eventually fade and even disappear.
- Surgery. For larger veins, surgery may be the only option. Your doctor will surgically remove the vein or close it off.
What’s the outlook?
A number of natural or medical reasons can lead to bulging forehead veins. Though they’re usually not cause for concern, facial veins accompanied with head pain can be a sign something is wrong.
If you begin to experience any irregular symptoms, see your doctor.