Bulging veins can appear anywhere on the body, including the forehead. Veins can expand due to pressure or stress. Skin changes associated with aging may make veins in the forehead appear larger than they are.
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. Possible causes of bulging forehead veins include:
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.
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.
Temporal arteritis causes inflammation in the temporal arteries and the surrounding blood vessels. This can lead to bulging veins that extend from the temples to the middle of the forehead.
Other symptoms of temporal arteritis include:
Spending too much time in the sun can damage skin tissue and veins.
The heat from the sun causes veins to dilate so that 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 surface of the skin. These lines indicate broken veins, and they 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.
In most cases, forehead veins do not require treatment. People who do not like the way 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.
- Endovenous laser surgery: This procedure uses a laser to close or shrink veins. The heat from the laser destroys the tissue lining the walls of blood vessels. The body will naturally absorb the dead tissue.
Although large forehead veins do not indicate a medical emergency, people may want to speak with a doctor if they experience:
- 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.