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What Causes Blue Veins in Breasts?

Your veins perform a critically important function, working in tandem with your arteries to carry blood throughout your body so your organs and tissues have the oxygen, fluids, and nutrients they need to work properly. Located beneath the protective covering of our skin, most times our veins are not visible. But sometimes, veins become more pronounced. Varicose veins are good examples of visible veins that occur when vein function is impaired, usually by malfunctioning valves inside the vein. These types of visible veins are more common in the feet and legs, where the increased pressure from weight-bearing activities contributes to the vein malfunction.

Sometimes, though, ugly blue veins can appear on other areas of the body, including the breasts. In fact, blue breast veins are fairly common – but that doesn’t make them any less troublesome, especially from an aesthetic point of view. While varicose veins in the legs and feet occur most often as a result of increased weight-bearing over time, blue breast veins have other causes. Understanding these causes is the first step toward having these ugly veins treated so you can feel more confident about your appearance.

Blue Breast Veins: Causes

Several conditions or issues can contribute to blue breast vein development, including:

  • Pregnancy: Breast veins often become more noticeable during pregnancy, when your blood volume increases substantially in order to provide both you and the developing fetus with necessary nutrients. Because of the amount of blood increases, your veins can become more prominent. Typically, the veins return to their pre-pregnancy state after the baby is born.
  • Breastfeeding: When you breastfeed, your breasts are full of milk. That extra volume inside your breasts can cause veins to become more visible. As with pregnancy, the veins usually return to normal once you stop breastfeeding.
  • Hormonal changes: Sometimes, certain types of oral contraceptives can cause your breast veins to become more prominent as a result of the hormones they use. Menstruation can also cause your breasts to become enlarged, resulting in more visible veins.
  • Breast augmentation surgery: If you’ve had your breasts enlarged, the increase in volume can also make your veins more noticeable, especially if you have fair skin and your veins were visible before surgery. Significant weight gain may have a similar effect.
  • Sun damage: Sun exposure tends to cause the skin to become thinner, which means the veins under your skin are more likely to show. Wearing sunscreen on a daily basis is a good way to prevent this type of damage.
  • Age-related changes: Skin tends to become thinner with age, which means your veins are likely to become more visible, even if they aren’t unhealthy. Plus, the effects of gravity on very heavy breasts can cause the skin to stretch and thin out increasing vein visibility.
  • Inflammation: Some diseases like superficial thrombophlebitis can cause one or more veins in the breast or chest to become inflamed, resulting in increased visibility. Wearing an ill-fitting or too-tight bra on a regular basis can also irritate tissues, resulting in more visible veins.
  • Breast cancer: Some types of breast cancer cause inflammatory changes in the breast tissue which in turn can cause new blood vessels to form. If you notice any new blood vessels in your breasts, it’s a good idea to schedule a visit with your ob-gyn.

Treating Blue Breast Veins

While prominent breast veins may be common, that doesn’t mean you have to live with them. As with visible veins in other areas of your body, visible breast veins can be treated so you feel more attractive and confident. Dr. Charles Dietzek is skilled in state-of-the-art techniques used to eliminate ugly breast veins, using an in-office procedure that requires no anesthesia and no downtime. To find out more about breast vein treatment, call the Vein & Vascular Institute at 856-309-8346 and schedule an office visit today.

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