Bulging veins in the hands are common signs of aging; but a variety of other conditions could be the cause, some of them potentially harmful. However, in many cases, particularly those having to do with teenagers, the cause is something more benign, such as excessive activity. Due to the potential risk involved, consult a doctor to rule out a more-serious disorder.
Veins are responsible for taking deoxygenated blood back to the heart and lungs to be reoxygenated. Unlike arteries, veins have valves in them that control the flow of blood. When veins bulge -- on the hand or anywhere else in the body -- it is because the blood is pooling in the vein, either due to a problem with the vein itself or an underlying condition. Bulging veins are more common on the leg, but they can occur anywhere on the body.
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If a teen is active in sports, such as lifting weights, it can cause the veins in the hand to bulge temporarily, which is usually not a cause for concern. Other causes that could be to blame include excessive inactivity, obesity, pregnancy, high blood pressure, structural problems with the veins, injury, and thrombophlebitis, a swelling caused by a blood clot. It could also be a hereditary condition, which could be more noticeable in a thin teenager.
If bulging veins in the hand is accompanied by other symptoms, an underlying medical condition is more likely the cause. Symptoms that accompany bulging hand veins can include pain, warmth and redness in the affected area, which is common in thrombophlebitis. If diabetes is the cause, symptoms can include slow-healing wounds and ulcers on the skin. Veins that bulge as the result of a structural problem in the veins are usually always swollen and slightly engorged. Even if no other symptoms are present other than bulging veins, it does not rule out a more serious medical condition.
Bulging veins in a teen's hands are not always a cause for concern, but a doctor should be consulted to rule out an underlying medical disorder. Treatment for the condition will depend on the underlying cause. If the cause is genetics, no treatment is usually given, although cosmetic procedures are available to remove the veins. Bulging hand veins accompanied by symptoms of infection -- including redness and swelling in the affected veins, pain, a pulling sensation or bleeding from the vein -- require immediate medical attention.