Bulging blood vessels can appear on the forehead, especially as people get older. High blood pressure, stress, sun exposure, vein dysfunction, pregnancy, and other factors can contribute to the appearance of veins in the forehead.

Genetic factors or age can influence whether someone gets large veins on their forehead. The skin becomes thinner as the body ages, which can make veins appear more pronounced or larger than they are.

Enlarged veins can appear in the center of the forehead or the sides of the face, near the temples. Bulging forehead veins rarely indicate a medical emergency.

Read on to learn more about bulging forehead veins, including causes and treatments.

An increase in pressure can cause the veins to protrude through the skin. Factors that increase pressure in the neck and head include:

A bulging forehead vein may develop from a tension headache. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, which occur because of tightness in the muscles of the shoulders, scalp, or jaw.

An arteriovenous fistula is an incorrect connection between an artery and a vein. Typically blood flows from arteries to capillaries and onto veins. In an arteriovenous fistula, the artery and vein connect directly. Without treatment, this can lead to venous swelling and potentially life threatening complications.

Hormone changes during pregnancy can lead to higher blood volume, which may result in enlarged veins.

Progesterone levels increase during pregnancy. Progesterone thickens the uterine lining, preparing the uterus to receive a fertilized egg. Progestin also dilates or expands the blood vessels, which may make them appear larger under the skin.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), progesterone levels are ten times higher in females who are pregnant than those who are not.

Spending too much time in the sun can damage skin tissue and veins.

The heat from the sun causes veins to dilate so they can regulate the body’s internal temperature. However, dilated veins near the surface of the skin have the potential to pop or break, resulting in spider veins.

Spider veins refer to small red, blue, or purple lines that appear right below the skin’s surface. These lines indicate broken veins, which can develop anywhere on the body, including the face.

A bulging vein might appear suddenly if someone loses a significant amount of weight. People with less body fat may have more prominent veins. Thinning skin due to gaining weight could also explain new bulging veins.

Hormonal changes and high blood pressure could also result in the sudden appearance of forehead veins.

Both physical and mental stress can significantly raise blood pressure.

Learn more about normal blood pressure ranges here.

In most cases, forehead veins do not require treatment. People who do not like how their forehead veins look can choose to undergo procedures that reduce their visibility.

Treatments for forehead veins include:

  • Electrosurgery: This procedure uses high frequency electrical currents to cut or destroy blood vessels.
  • Sclerotherapy: Doctors use this standard medical procedure to treat varicose and spider veins. It does not require surgery. During sclerotherapy, a doctor will inject a salt solution directly into a vein, causing it to collapse.

Although large forehead veins do not indicate a medical emergency, people may want to speak with a doctor if they experience:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • blurred or double vision
  • pain or tenderness near the temples, mouth, or jaw

Even if someone does not experience symptoms, they can still consult a doctor about possible treatment options for large forehead veins.

People should carefully consider all the benefits and risks associated with surgical and nonsurgical treatments before making a decision.

Several factors can contribute to the appearance of bulging forehead veins. These can include natural reasons, such as genetics, aging, and sun exposure. An underlying medical condition that affects the cardiovascular system, such as vasculitis, may also cause large forehead veins.

Large forehead veins do not require treatment unless someone does not like the way they look. People can choose from a variety of surgical and nonsurgical procedures to reduce the appearance of forehead veins.

People should ask a trained medical professional to review the potential risks and benefits associated with any treatment.