It's not unusual to have prominent veins on your breasts, but still, some women feel self conscious about them.
Veins are a vital part of our bodily system, transporting blood to the heart. Usually, they are buried below the skin, however in some parts of the body they are more visible—in arms and legs typically, and in some cases, boobs.
What causes it?
We spoke to vein expert and founder of Whiteley Clinics, Professor Mark Whiteley, to get the low down on what can cause the veins in your breasts to become so prominent:
- Hormonal changes
"When your body experiences fluctuations in hormones, perhaps because you are menstruating or taking a new oral contraceptive, it can result in your breasts enlarging, making the veins more noticeable than usual."
- Weight gain
"Weight gain can result in the skin around your breasts becoming stretched, making your veins easier to spot."
- Weight loss
"Equally, losing weight can result in the fat layer that normally hides the veins getting much thinner, leaving the veins more exposed and easier to see."
- During pregnancy
"Especially in early pregnancy, your breasts may become a lot more veiny. This is because the blood volume increases by approximately 20-40 percent during pregnancy, filling the veins more than normal."
- Breast augmentation
"Breast implants can cause visible veins to appear in the breasts, so anyone considering surgery should be mindful of this before proceeding. This is usually seen in slim women having implants, as they have little body fat to hide the veins, and the implants push the veins forwards towards the skin."
"Older women are very likely to experience visible veins in their breasts. This is because their skin naturally becomes thinner and more transparent with age, and the fat on the breast decreases with decreasing hormone levels."
- Big boobs
"Women with larger, heavier breasts are also more likely to get visible veins as the effect of gravity can result in the skin stretching, meaning the veins are a lot easier to see. Also, the more mass there is to the breast, then the more blood is needed—and the more venous blood needs to return to the heart from the breast."
- Health conditions
"While these are the most common causes for visible veins, women should also be aware that there are certain health conditions which can cause the breasts to develop visible veins - such as mastitis, mondor’s disease and inflammatory breast cancer.
"If you have noticed that the veins within your breasts have become more noticeable and cannot pinpoint the reason, I would always advise booking an appointment with your GP or a breast specialist to have these examined—just for peace of mind and to ensure that there isn’t a more serious condition at bay," added Dr Whitely.
How can boob veins be prevented?
"Unfortunately, it is not always possible to prevent visible veins in the breast. Some women are simply more prone to getting them due to genetics or because of pregnancy," the vein expert explained.
"However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercising regularly will help to keep your veins in good flowing form and, thus, reduce their appearance. Wearing a properly fitted bra is also advisable," the doctor added, "as a bra that is too tight can worsen veins in the breast by irritating the surrounding tissues and causing inflammation or swelling."
How can they be treated?
There are treatment options available to people who feel very strongly about the veins in their breasts. However, it's important to remember that your body is unique to you, and it's always worth trying to embrace it before considering any potentially unnecessary medical procedures.
Follow Cat on Instagram.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.