Bright Blue Blood Vessels

The other day I was wearing a tank-top that exposes my shoulders and upper chest, which are still somewhat pale. (I tan really easily, and almost every summer I get a righteous farmer tan before I know what’s going on.) My husband mentioned the other day that I had a lot of visible blue blood vessels. “Oh,” I said,“I guess I just need a better tan.” He dropped the subject.

Er, well, it turns out, no.

Today I caught a glimpse of the undersides of my forearms in the bathroom mirror and HOLY FREAKING COW. I have this totally huge network of bright blue blood vessels, very, VERY visible, even on my rather browned forearms.


They don’t pop out or anything and they aren’t spidery or bruisy or purple-looking, so it’s not vericose veins (I think!). They’re just extremly extremely bright blue and huge and obvious. I guess I’ve noticed blue blood vessels on the backs of my hands for a while, but I veiny hands seemed more normal.

My mind is racing.

How long has this been going on?
Have they always been that way, and I’ve been going through life with bright blue blood vessels and I never noticed? Is this just some new stupid thing I can’t change about my appearance but will be unable to stop obsessing about?
Is it a sign of heavy-metal poisoning or some other dread thing?!
I’ve lost weight lately . . . Has losing some of my subcutaneous fat brought the blood vessels closer to the surface?
If so will it get better as my body re-equlibrates?
Or if I keep losing weight, WILL IT GET WORSE???
Am I going to slowly transform into the Visible Woman? Will anatomy students follow me around, identifiying my tendons and major nerves?
Is it just a natural symptom of getting old?
Have OTHER PEOPLE been noticing this? Do they think of me as “That lady with the gross blue veins”? Do I frighten small children?
How come my friends and DEAR HUSBAND never noticed this? Or more to the point, how come they never said anything? “Hey, Pod, you kinda got an Emperor-Palpatine, Brog-Queen kinda thing going on with your veins, there.” Is this too much to ask?

What an unfortunate discovery. Ignorance was bliss.

This is me. After all my help, those darned anatomy students never write. Not even a thank you card!

I’ve been this way forever, but sometimes I just notice it more, especially in some lighting. I prefer to think of it as ‘a delicate blue tracery across my silken alabaster skin’. 'Sbetter than ‘vein girl.’

It’s probably a lifelong thing. FWIW, I’ve always been skinny, I’ve had 'em as long as I can remember, and they’ve not gotten any worse over the years. Heck, there’s a couple on each arm that I can trace from finger to armpit with nary a dip out of sight.

These suckers are huge, blue and ropy, and when I was a teen I was always mortified by them, but you know what? In 30-odd years people have mentioned them maybe 3 or 4 times, and never in an “OMG that’s disgusting, eww, don’t ever touch me” kind of way; more like a momentary curiosity. It’s just not a major deal to most people.

On the definite plus side, people who draw blood love me.

Could you possibly be pregnant ?

When I was pregnant, I swear I could see every vein in my upper torso.

,/7 You’re so vein… you probably think this song is about you…

Sorry, I got nothing.

Except chutzpah.

It’s probably just age. I can’t cite it but seems like I remember reading that the layer of fat under the skin thins as a woman ages which makes any veins close to the skin show through more.

Nope. (Is there any symptom a woman could possibly get that doesn’t indicate pregnancy?)

Well, I for one appreciate big veins. I mean, there’s nothing like putting my finger on a lovely, bouncy vein, stroking it…

Oh, I’m sorry. I was getting off track there. As an MT who has drawn blood from 500+ people, I can tell you I really appreciate large palpable veins, and often check out someone’s antecubital fossa(e) when I can see it/them.

Vlad/Igor, MT(ASCP)

I’m very pale (white as death would be a more accurate description) and I’ve always had the bright blue veins visible from my chest all the way down my arms.

I went to give blood once and after tying up my arm and giving me the little rubber ball to squeeze the vampire guy started poking at my inner elbow and going, “Hm!”
“Hey, Joe, come look at this!” he called. Vampire Joe came over and started poking, too.
“Wow!” said Vampire Joe. “That’s great!”
“You’ve got great veins!” said the first vampire, in the same tone I’ve heard guys in bars use to compliment my boobs.
“Um…thanks,” I said, and wondered for the rest of the day what he would have been like on a date.

Oh, we get over it after a few minutes. :smiley: But, we really do appreciate nice veins, because the hard ones are really hard to hit.


I first noticed my large veins when I was around 13 yrs. I had just gotten out of the shower and was drying off in front of the mirror. Mine also are just on my upper chest. It totally freaked me out!

My doctor noticed them during an annual physical a few years ago, but didn’t seem too concerned about them.

The weird thing is they don’t help with the easy drawing of blood in my arms. The nurse always has to use the butterfly needle and poke…poke…poke to get my blood drawn. It just doesn’t want to come out!

I, too, would like to know what causes such prominent veins to show on some people. The next time I see my doctor, I’ll make sure to ask.

My veins are the same, and I’m neither skinny nor pale. I don’t get it. Maybe it runs in families – my mum has really visible veins too. And the vampire people can never draw blood from me either.

I don’t know that they’re “really” visible, but yeah, I’ve gottem too. And I’m of the “pale as death” variety. Nobody’s ever really commented on mine before, unless it’s cold - then they seem more noticeable.

The best part is when I get cold, I get a kinda mottled purple pattern on my skin, rather like my skin’s complaining. Yeah, that’s attractive. I pretty much just accept it.

Well, I’m definitely not an easy draw, or at least I haven’t been in the past. They’ve had good luck with a butterfly needle in the back of my hand, between the knuckles of my middle and ring fingers, to be precise. But good luck convincing them to go there first . . . Nooooo . . . Oh my God, the back of your hand?!? That that will be TOO PAINFUL! First we have to spend 20 minutes on a fishing expedition inside my elbows, and every phlebotomist in the place has to take a shot at it, because THAT’S not painful AT ALL.

Er, anyway, I took another look last night at home, and I think part of the reason my veins looked so . . . vivid . . . may have been the always-flattering flourescent lights in the bathroom at work. In naturally light I don’t look quite so freaky. So that’s something.

My son has that suface vein problem also, but it only covers the left quarter of his chest and left arm excessively- and I do mean ‘covers’. He is thin and has medium to light skin. His veins make a roadmap all over that quarter of his body and he is the only person I have ever noticed with this problem.

I had thought it was possibly caused by a heart problem he had when he was born, but am not really sure.