Forehead bulging veins. Are they genetic or what are the other causes?

Thick bulging veins appear on the forehead or the sides of your temples. More often, they appear as one ages. While genetic factors such as low body fat may be a reason for its obvious appearance, there are others such as sudden weight loss, stress and pressure, sun exposure and pregnancy that are more likely to cause these protruding blood vessels.

Just like how genetics can influence height, eye colour, and other physical characteristics, it can also affect body composition. Some may naturally have a lower percentage of body fat due to their genetic makeup, which can be attributed to factors such as metabolism, hormones, and the way the body processes and stores fat. While this is true, it is important to note that lifestyle habits and environment can also play a role body composition, and that a healthy and balanced diet and regular exercise can help to maintain a healthy body fat percentage regardless of genetic factors.

What causes bulging veins?

Sudden weight loss

Sudden weight loss can lead to a loss of subcutaneous fat (the layer of fat beneath the skin) in the face. This loss of fat thus makes the veins more visible, especially in the forehead area where the skin is thinner and closer to the underlying veins. Additionally, sudden weight loss can cause dehydration, which causes the blood more viscous, and increase the pressure in the blood vessels. This increased pressure in turn, causes the veins to bulge and become more visible on the surface of the skin.

Stress and Pressure

When you laugh, your forehead veins can become more visible because the pressure in your chest increases and your veins expand. This can also happen when you sneeze a lot, exercise, or are placed in situations where you are under pressure. Another common cause is when you experience stress headaches or eye strain. Unknowingly, such internal tension can increase pressure in your head and veins, causing them to appear.


During pregnancy, women produce more hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which can widen and weaken the veins. This widening can also be caused by the increased in blood flow, and as the blood accumulates, veins on the face may look larger.

Sun Exposure

When you spend too much time in the sun or get sunburned often, the over exposure can cause these vein bulge on the face. This happens because the sun can dilate the blood vessels and weaken the skin around them. If you are already experiencing weak veins, being in the sun too much can stop them from reverting back to their usual size.

Treatment for Bulging Veins

In some cases, the veins can narrow on its own. However, individuals may be disturbed as such seek treatment to reduce their visibility.

Summary: What is the connection?

Will new ones appear?

While there seems to be a relationship between genetics, low body fat and bulging forehead veins, there are more common causes to consider, like sudden weight loss, pressure, sun exposure and hormonal change.

When experiencing them, new ones can appear. They are more often than not, no cause of concern. However, you should consult your doctor if there is a sudden increase or you are experiencing frequent discomfort such as dizziness, headaches, blurred vision.