Varicose veins are gnarled, enlarged veins, dark purple or blue in color and may appear
twisted and bulging — like cords or bunches of grapes. They commonly appear on the backs of
the calves of the legs or on the inside of the leg. However, they can form anywhere
on your legs, from your groin to your ankle.
For many people, varicose veins are simply a
cosmetic concern. For other people, varicose veins can cause aching and
severe pain. Sometimes the condition leads to more serious
problems. Varicose veins may also signal a higher risk of other
disorders of the circulatory system.
Varicose veins are a common condition in the United States,
affecting up to 50 percent of women and 15 percent of men. Some people with varicose veins don't experience any discomfort from
the condition. When painful signs and symptoms do occur, they may
- - An achy or heavy feeling in your legs,
burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs.
Prolonged sitting or standing tends to make your legs feel worse.
- - Itching around one or more of your veins.
- - Skin ulcers near your ankle, which represent a severe form of vascular disease and require immediate attention.