What are blue veins?
Everyone has veins in their body; there are many sizes of veins in the body and they are found in every organ. The major function of all veins is to transport deoxygenated blood back to the lungs. Veins are generally thin walled with a small amount of muscle surrounding them. They can not actively push blood out and have to rely on surrounding muscles to squeeze the blood out.
Veins may be located deep or superficial in the body. The majority of superficial veins are easily visible on the skin and legs. In some cases, the superficial veins may also be visible on the neck and face.
Because the veins carry deoxygenated blood, they appear dark and blue. The superficial veins in the arm appear blue because they carry deoxygenated blood.
In general, when the superficial veins get engorged with deoxygenated blood they appear dark blue and are visible through the skin.
Two common conditions associated with blue veins are:
Varicose and spider veins.
Both these conditions occur on the legs and are associated with increased venous pressure. The increased pressure causes engorgement of the veins with blood. Once the veins engorge with blood, the veins become large and distended and appear blue. Varicose veins may appear anywhere on the leg, but are more prominent on the thigh.
Spider veins also contain deoxygenated blood and thus appear blue. They also occur on the upper thigh area and face.
The bluish color of the veins is normal and not a sign of any medical illness.
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