Varicose veins are large, abnormal veins close to the skin surface that often look like large ropes or clusters of grapes under the skin. They occur when veins fail to circulate properly and blood begins to pool, enlarging them. These visible, bulging veins can usually be traced from the upper inside of the thigh, sometimes branching extensively into the calves, ankles, and even into the foot. They are usually greater than 3mm in diameter and often greater than 10 mm.
Varicose veins may be regarded as a cosmetic nuisance for some, but for others, they can be quite painful. Symptoms in the leg can be an indicator of venous insufficiency.
- Resting pain
- Resting cramps
- Restless legs
- Leg fatigue
- Burning sensation
- Swelling (especially around the ankle)
In some cases, serious health problems may be present or may develop as a result.