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Is it possible for a person's veins to shrink?

This might sound silly but I'm positive that my veins are shrinking. I've always been able to see the ones in my arms really well and now they look really skinny compared to how they used to look. Anything that can cause my veins to shrink?
I can think of three likely explanations for your observation that your veins are 'shrinking', fortunately none of the three imply a serious medical cause. The first is that, as we age, our veins do tend to get thinner and more fragile over time. This is just part of normal aging, and it begins to be noticeable probably in middle aged adults. Therefore, depending on how old you are, this might be the explanation. Another potential explanation is that you have been gaining some weight recently. When we put on extra weight, some of the fat deposits under the skin of our arms and legs where are veins are. This may result in 'covering over' of the veins, leading them to seem like they are shrinking. Finally, it could be that you used to work out a lot and have recently reduced the intensity of your exercise program, resulting in some loss of muscle tone in the arms or legs. High muscle tone in the arms or legs causes the veins to 'bulge out.' I recommend talking about this issue with your primary care doctor to make sure you haven't spotted a serious problem.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
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Answers are written by doctors from top institutions:
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Boston Children's Hospital
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Mass General Hospital
  • Beth Israel Medical Center
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