Varicose veins are larger blood vessels that have become swollen and twisted. They appear dark blue and stick out from the skin like raised tunnels. Problems with the valves, muscles or blood itself can allow blood to pool inside the vein. As blood pools within the vein, pressure builds and the vessel wall weakens. As a result, the vein tends to bulge and twist. Depending on the size of the blood vessel and extent of swelling, the result is a spider vein or varicose vein.
A dull ache, burning, or heaviness in the legs. These symptoms may be more noticeable late in the day or after you have been sitting or standing for a long time. Itching skin over the varicose vein. Skin color changes (stasis pigmentation) around the ankles and lower legs. Superficial thrombophlebitis (when a blood clot and inflammation develop in a small vein near the surface of the skin). Open sores (ulcerations).