Many women experience visible, blue veins on their breasts — but these veins can be treated just as effectively as varicose veins in the legs.
Noticeable blue veins don’t crop up only on the legs and ankles. For some women, enlarged, visible veins appear on their breasts. Although rarely a sign of an underlying serious disorder, these prominent breast veins can be a cosmetic problem.
The most common causes of breast veins are pregnancy and breastfeeding. During pregnancy, the veins fill with blood to ensure the fetus and mother receive enough nutrients. After delivery, breast milk expands the breasts, which pushes the veins closer to the skin’s surface. Once a woman delivers a child or stops breastfeeding, the veins shrink to their normal size.
Additionally, breast skin simply becomes thinner with age. Over time, sun damage that thins the skin on the breasts can lead to breast veins. Breast augmentation surgery or a significant weight gain can make breast veins more evident, too. Lastly, superficial thrombophlebitis — a blood clot just under the surface of the skin — may inflame the veins and make them more apparent to the eye.
To banish breast veins, women may be tempted to try several natural, at-home remedies. Though likely not harmful, these solutions aren’t effective or permanent. Similar to varicose veins, the only way to definitively eliminate breast veins is through a minimally invasive outpatient procedure.
Healing Breast Veins: What Works & What Doesn’t
As with varicose veins on the legs, you can take measures to diminish the appearance of breast veins or delay their development. These steps include working out in order to maintain your weight and eating a healthy diet.
Getting fitted with a comfortable bra is also important. A too-tight bra may irritate and swell the breasts by inhibiting blood flow, which increases the visibility of breast veins. On the other hand, a loose-fitting bra doesn’t provide the support larger breasts need. That, in turn, stretches the skin and brings the veins to the surface.
Some women swear by an at-home treatment for making breast veins less prominent. They claim that pressing a cloth soaked in apple cider vinegar against the veins twice a day for 30 minutes may minimize the appearance of the veins. While there is little harm in trying this remedy, it is unlikely to yield the hoped-for results.
Home therapy cannot take the place of a surgery that employs minimally invasive techniques to entirely eliminate breast veins. Sclerotherapy, which is also used for the treatment of small spider veins, targets breast veins with a foam substance that seals off the vein. Eventually, the vein disappears as blood flows to healthy veins.
Another option for breast veins is Veinwave™. This new procedure collapses the veins with radiofrequency waves delivered through a pencil-like device.
The most appropriate procedure for breast veins depends upon their size and location. Luckily for patients, both procedures necessitate no anesthesia and patients can return to most normal activities immediately after the surgery.
Are You Ready to Treat Your Breast Veins?
At the Vein & Vascular Institute, we treat a variety of venous disorders, including varicose veins and visible breast veins. If you’ve decided it’s time to treat your breast veins, we can suggest therapies to eliminate these visible veins. Contact us for an appointment today.