Varicose veins are enlarged leg veins that can be blue, purple or greenish in color. They are often raised above the skin on legs and look like twisted bulging ropes. Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins that carry blood from the legs back toward the heart no longer function, causing leg swelling by blood pooling in the legs. They are more common in women than men and often run in families. They can also be caused by pregnancy, being severely overweight, or by standing for long periods of time due to your job.
The symptoms of varicose veins include:
• Bulging, swollen, purple, distended, veins seen under the skin
• Spider veins -- small red or purple bursts on your knees, calves, or thighs, caused by swollen capillaries (small blood vessels)
• Aching, stinging, or swelling of the ankles and legs at the end of the day