Varicose Veins are larger distended veins that have ceased to function properly. The job of normal veins is to return blood upward to the heart from the leg. When the valves inside the veins stop functioning blood pools in these veins causing them to become distended (protrude from skins surface).
Varicose veins often cause fatigue, discomfort, heaviness, cramping and swelling if left untreated. These veins will eventually lead to ulceration, eczema of the skin and bleeding. Long standing varicose veins can lead to deep venous insufficiency, which is very hard to treat.
Varicose and spider veins are usually caused by valvular insufficiency. Pregnancy, hormonal changes and injury can aggravate this condition.