Parents think babies are born picture-perfect. They expect an excellent soft round head that is well developed and beautiful skin. But that is not always the case. Your baby is born and has blue or purple veins in their head. As you go home, your doctors say it’s familiar, and they will disappear, but months later, they are still there.
It can be a worry for many parents, especially if the veins appear suddenly or have been there, and your pediatrician keeps on assuring you they are harmless. The veins on your baby’s head seem like they are here to stay. Some may look like bruises. They aren’t. Let’s look at the famous blood vessels that are seen on our baby’s head.
Blood vessels are veins and arteries that carry blood through the whole body. These small tubes are responsible for moving the blood from the head to the toes from the heart. In your baby’s body and yours too, they carry the blood from the heart to all the veins. Veins carry blood from the body to the heart, while arteries carry blood from the heart to the body.
The blood that goes through veins is dark red since it has no oxygen, and thus the veins appear purple or blue. The one in the arteries is bright red as it contains oxygen. Some veins get swollen and become stretched. These veins are filled with blood and become more visible and are known as varicose veins.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Veins have valves that open and close to prevent the blood from flowing back. These valves act like tiny doors that open and close, ensuring the blood flows in the right direction. Some blood stays in the veins instead of moving forward, making the vein swell, and the swollen vein is known as varicose veins.
Varicose veins are caused by stress from different areas like overweight adults and caring for babies, especially those that cry a lot. They are harmless. What drives your baby to have visible veins?
If you or you or your partner have visible veins on your body that have been visible all your life, then it is normal for your baby to have visible veins that are most visible on their head. You may not have your partner, too, but with a closer look at your parents or siblings, and maybe one may have.
Very Fair Skin
Probably you have or have seen people with ashen skin. Their veins are more visible more than those with less pale skin. Under pale skin, veins are highly visible even though they have not bulged. You will also see visible veins on your body or your partner’s body if they are very pale.
The Baby’s head is soft and has soft, thin skin. Different babies have different thicknesses on their skin. If your baby’s skin is light on their head, veins will be likely visible, but as the baby grows, they disappear. Babies have a flexible skull, and the skull plates usually haven’t formed yet, so they can make the baby have veins on the head while moving on the birth canal.
Should You Be Worried?
Many parents get worked up when they aren’t sure what the cause of their babies’ visible veins is. It is usual for babies to have veins on their skin because of the thin skin. The veins are more pronounced but are very harmless.
When to Be concerned
While most of the veins visible on your baby’s head are harmless, there are veins that you should be concerned about on your baby. If you notice your baby’s veins are increasing on the head and covering the head and spreading to the bridge and under the eyes, you need to consult your doctor urgently. These are signs of Galen’s vein, a rare disease that affects the vein, creating reversed blood flow via a lot of small veins in the head, face, and eyes. The condition is treatable.
It can be scary for parents to gauge what’s happening to their baby when they see the veins in their babies’ heads. Babies are delicate, so in their charge, the skin around the head is thin, and your baby could have ashen skin, which makes the veins seem more apparent. If you still have doubts, consult your pediatrician on your baby’s next well visit.